3 Social Enterprise Networks

Social Enterprise Network Raises $750 Million

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A social enterprise network comprised of foundations, social venture funds and international development organizations was formed in 2009 to try to increase investment in and assistance to small and medium businesses in developing countries.

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is housed at the Aspen Institute in Washington, and has 35 member organizations and collectively manages $750 million during the next five years. Among the founding organizations are the Acumen Fund, E+Co, and Root Capital. These nonprofit organizations invest in for-profit businesses in developing countries that also provide social or environmental benefits.

In most developing countries there is a lack of accessible funding for companies which fall somewhere between the large corporations and the very small businesses with access to microfinance. ANDE’s members seek to increase the availability of capital to fill this funding gap in the middle.

Social Enterprise Network of the Triangle

The Social Enterprise Network of the Triangle has a mission to change the landscape of how people think about and practice social enterprise in North Carolina. The network seeks to move from a community of practice to a community of impact, through its members roles as social enterprise advocates, educators and practitioners.

They do this by providing opportunities for networking to the Triangle community, including organizations and individuals in the community who are looking for advice from open discussions with experienced social entrepreneurship experts. They offer educational presentations on topics of interest to social entrepreneurs as well, such as a recent presentation on the L3C (Low-Profit Limited Liability Company) legal structure, which is a blend between a nonprofit and for-profit. This structure has been gaining popularity across the US, including in the state of North Carolina.

Connecticut Social Enterprise Network

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A social enterprise network in Connecticut called the Connecticut reSET Network was formed in 2009 by a group of concerned citizens, educators and leaders from business and nonprofit organizations. They got together in Farmington,CT to talk about the growing social enterprise movement and how it could catch on in a big way throughout the state. The goal of the network is to promote the idea and development of social enterprise within and around the state, and they welcome input from the general public on ideas and resources related to the subject.

The network has identified five areas of focus and has created Action Teams to focus on each one. These areas of focus include financial, legislative, educational, communications and incubator. Developing financial models and ways to attract social capital to the sate is of primary importance, as is ensuring that state law encourages the development of social enterprise.