Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute
Participants at the Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute 2012 share their views about social entrepreneurship and their experiences at the Institute. Video from Shira Golding Evergreen on Vimeo.
The theme of our first Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute was "creating local, sustainable and just economies, with equity as the driver for growth."
The institute took place in the heart of the Finger Lakes region at Cornell University and downtown Ithaca NY from Thursday September 13 to Saturday September 15.
Social entrepreneurs are creating thriving social ventures by redefining what for-profit and non-profit mean. They bridge social and ideological differences because they know that listening for shared values, common objectives, and opportunities for mutual benefit help to create local economies that are just, sustainable, and work for everyone.
The Institute brought together new and experienced social entrepreneurs to share best practices and co-create new possibilities. Using the book “The Business Model Generation” as a guide, participants came together to learn how to reinvent their mission-driven enterprises to have greater social impact while meeting the financial, environmental and social challenges of today.
The Institute offered dozens of workshops and panels, including: how to blend for-profit and non-profit purposes; developing networks for local investing; taking a holistic approach to grant writing; identifying mentors and key partners; evaluating and communicating impact; and co-creating inclusive community leadership, all while learning how to use equity as the driver for growth.
Goals for the Institute were:
- To provide practical skills to new and experienced social entrepreneurs to create thriving nonprofit and for-profit social ventures.
- To develop a cadre of regional social entrepreneurs with the tools to create diverse, financially sound, and ecologically sustainable ventures that prioritize equity.
- To empower people of color, low-income individuals, and young people to become successful social entrepreneurs.
- To create a robust, supportive regional network of nonprofit and for-profit social entrepreneurs who are contributing to local, sustainable, and just economies that have equity as the driver for growth.
Thanks to our financial sponsors: the Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research; Entrepreneurship@Cornell; the Iscol Family Program for Leadership Development in Public Service; and the Park Foundation.
And to our supporters for providing presenters and experts: Alternatives Federal Credit Union; Buffalo Street Books; Cayuga LION; Challenge Industries; Cornell Design for America; Cornell PopShop; eLab; Energy Independent Caroline; Finger Lakes Reuse; Grants Champion; Green Resource Hub; GreenStar Cooperative Market; Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming; Johnson School of Business Management; Local First Ithaca; Miller Mayer; Natural Investments; Natural Leaders Initiative; New Roots Charter School; Peaks Over Poverty; Referral Institute; Singlebrook Technology; the Society for Social Entrepreneurship and Collaborative Action; Strebel Planning Group; Sustainable Enterprise and Entrepreneur Network (the SEEN); Sustainable Tompkins; TFC Associates; Think Topography.