Columbia Business School's Research Initiative on Social Entrepreneurship (RISE) Program, Investors' Circle, and the Social Venture Network have partnered to conduct the first national survey of for-profit social ventures, which are defined as businesses that seek to create positive social and environmental impact through financially successful businesses.
This exploratory study is creating a snapshot of the landscape of for-profit social venture CEOs and entrepreneurs in the United States, and is focusing on emerging companies that started within the past thirty years. The survey will concentrate on defining size, scale, and scope of social ventures; how entrepreneurs work to create and evaluate social and environmental value; what their financial success and needs are; and what lessons they have for new social entrepreneurs.
The study is being conducted with funding from the Marion Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Omidyar Foundation.
CEOs and managers of social ventures are encouraged to participate by visiting the web-based survey at:
The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and will be open through June 30, 2004.
Gary Hirshberg, Chairman and President of Stonyfield Farm, Inc., was one of the first CEOs to participate, and has urged other CEOs to take part: "This study seeks to add to our momentum by collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data and attitudes about the state of social entrepreneurship. This information will tell us much about ourselves and, hopefully, will raise the profile of social entrepreneurship in America. Together we can help bring about greater understanding of the diverse social venture landscape, extend the reach of the field, and encourage those who would enter it."
Participating companies will be featured in a free, online directory of surveyed ventures. Companies will also receive an electronic copy of the final report on aggregate findings before its formal release. The project will be contacting selected companies for profiles, quotes, and photos to make the report more lively and accessible.
The Research Initiative on Social Entrepreneurship (RISE) is a research project at Columbia Business School whose mission is to study and disseminate knowledge about the markets, metrics, and management of for-profit and nonprofit social enterprise and social venturing. RISE has created the first online directory of Double Bottom Line venture capital and equity sources for early-stage social ventures, and has reports available on social metrics and assessment on its site at www.riseproject.org.
Investors' Circle (IC) (www.investorscircle.net) is a leading social venture capital intermediary whose mission is to support early-stage, private companies that drive the transition to a sustainable economy. Founded in 1992, IC has become one of the nation's oldest and largest investor networks, and the only one devoted specifically to sustainability. In its first decade, network members invested over $90 million into 147 early-stage, private companies and venture funds working to deliver commercial solutions to social and environmental problems.
Social Venture Network (SVN) (www.svn.org) was founded in 1987 by some of the nation's most visionary leaders in socially responsible entrepreneurship and investment. SVN is a nonprofit network committed to building a just and sustainable world through business.
For more information please contact: