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March 2010

Survey: 52 percent of adults 18­–64 use social media

According to a new report released by Pew Research Center, social media use is up 45 percent for adults 18–64 since February 2005. Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next looks at the values, attitudes and experiences of the Millennial generation while also shedding light on the Boomer generation.

Pew Research Center’s survey of more than 2,000 adults shows that 30 percent of boomers use social networking sites, up from only five percent in 2005. In total, the report found that 41 percent of adults use social networking sites. (more…)

May 2016

Social Enterprise Team

The JVA Social Enterprise Team

Our social enterprise team has decades of real-world experience in developing their own social enterprises AND applying best practices to helping other social enterprises succeed. We have partnered with hundreds of clients to maximize their impact – and we want to partner with YOU.

Adam Brock
Adam BrockDirector of Social Enterprise
Adam Brock is a social entrepreneur and facilitator based in his hometown of Denver, Colorado. He is co-founder of The GrowHaus and the Denver Permaculture Guild, and has won numerous awards for his work on local food and social justice including Zagat’s “30 Under 30” and Denver Post’s “Colorado’s Top Thinkers”.

He leads the Mission, Inc. Basecamp and providing one-on-one consulting with social entrepreneurs.

Rolfe Larson
Rolfe LarsonSocial Enterprise Consultant
Rolfe Larson brings to JVA more than 25 years as an experienced social enterprise manager, professor and consultant. His expertise and passion is working with mission-driven organizations to expand their reach and impact by successfully bringing products and services to the commercial marketplace. He has been involved in the research, development and implementation of dozens of market and feasibility studies as well as strategic, business, marketing and fund development plans. Rolfe is the author of Venture Forth!, recognized nationally as the premier guide to business planning and social enterprise strategies for nonprofit organizations. His prior work experience includes almost 10 years as a senior manager for American Public Media (Minnesota Public Radio), where his responsibilities included developing new business ventures. For more than a dozen years, Rolfe was also an adjunct professor of marketing at the MBA School at the University of St.Thomas.
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Ready to start your social enterprise?

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Ready, Set, GOAL!!: How to set and achieve goals

Target goal mediumSMALLIt’s 5:00 p.m. and you realize that you have no idea what you accomplished today. You feel exhausted so you must have done something… answered emails, attended meetings, assisted staff… and while all of those things are important and have their role in your day, what did you really do to get you and your organization closer to where you want to be?

Remember those big dreams? The ones where you’re “moving the needle” on poverty, early childhood education, homelessness, animal rights, clean energy, resource equity, etc? You’re already making a difference, no doubt … but what if you could do more? What if you could increase your impact by increasing your intention and not your workload?

Let’s turn “what if’s” into “what’s next.”

We at JVA are big fans of something we call “implementation science.” This means our team of experts is ready to help you challenge long-time assumptions and introduce more effective and imaginative tools into your work, helping you realize even greater community impact.

Our research, led by our IS expert, Jill Iman, PhD, has directed us to some great science-backed strategies to help people identify and achieve their goals. Upping the ante, we took that research and built an informed curriculum designed to help you achieve your goals.

Still remember those big dreams? Good. Bring them with you to this training and walk out knowing that once you start, you’ll be leaving work knowing exactly what you accomplished and how it’s moving you forward.

Building a Compelling LinkedIn Profile

Encore talent

JVA in collaboration with Boomers Leading Change in Health invites you to Building a Compelling LinkedIn Profile.

Did you know employers Google every job applicant and that over 90% of recruiters check your LinkedIn profile? What will they find when they check yours? 

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile allows you to control what is discovered about your experience, strengths, and accomplishments. LinkedIn has morphed from just being a digital resume database to THE place to build your personal brand and ensure you’re connected to the who’s who of every industry out there.

This training, designed specifically for those considering encore careers, will help you confidently create or upgrade your LinkedIn profile to position your online self as an expert in your field or the field you want to move into.

Make sure to bring your laptop and enthusiasm!

Blue Star Recyclers: A Gold Star Encore Career

Social enterprise encore career

Making social enterprise your encore career.

To hear him tell it, Bill Morris has made every mistake in the book on the road to creating his encore career—CEO and co-founder of Blue Star Recyclers, a nonprofit social enterprise which employs more than 35 people (25 with disabilities) to recycle electronic components in three states.

He spent about 25 years in the corporate telecom sector where he led several teams of salespeople before co-founding Blue Star Recyclers in 2009. “As for an encore career,” he says, “mine came as the direct result of essentially failing in my initial career… not because I did so great!” After finding himself obsolete in his field, Morris was forced to search for a new line of work in an unfamiliar landscape—which led him accidentally to his encore career. It was “an industry I had no experience in, and that might have been my greatest asset.” He says nonprofits–especially those seeking to create or grow an earned-income enterprise–desperately need people with business experience. The good news is those with business experience desperately want more purpose to their daily work. It’s truly a symbiotic relationship. He says for the most part, corporate America doesn’t want people in their 50s and 60s and that the feeling is often mutual. “People that age are done with that [corporate] culture, they’ve put in their time and now they want to do something more meaningful with their lives.”

Blue Star has successful social venture locations in Colorado Springs and Denver. The social enterprise returns triple-bottom line results by:

  • Over 38 local jobs for people with disabilities in four Colorado communities
  • Over $2 million in new local revenue and $1 million in taxpayer savings
  • Over 6.8 million pounds of electronics ethically recycled

Coming out of retirement to create social good, Bill found his finest team at Blue Star Recyclers. He credits finding his encore career as a social entrepreneur with giving him the opportunity to apply those successful business principles not embraced by the corporate sector to his social enterprise. These were “things like treating people like adults, holding them accountable, not micro-managing them, building relationships…that add value to their personal lives, defining success on a daily basis and celebrating ALL wins.”

If you’re considering making the switch from the corporate world into nonprofit or social enterprise, join us for the Colorado Encore Network Meetup and learn how to successfully make the jump!

Secrets of the Successful Social Entrepreneur

What are the best kept secrets of the successful social entrepreneur?

By Scot Kersgaard, Joining Vision and Action Senior Associate

Denise Cerreta successful social entrepreneurWhen Denise Cerreta opened America’s first “pay as you can” restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2003, she had no idea what was in store for her or how to become a successful social entrepreneur. “I was very undercapitalized when I opened and it was very stressful,” she says today. Since that time, roughly 60 similar restaurants have opened across the country, many of their founders mentored by Cerreta.

“I recommend that people raise at least six months of reserve capital before they open, so that if they don’t sell a single meal for six months, they will be OK,” she says.

That thought is echoed by Brad Birky who along with his wife Libby opened the second such restaurant in Denver in 2006. He said they raised $30,000 before the opened, but burned through most of that before they even opened their doors. They had signed a lease in June, thinking they would be open in a month or two, but the doors didn’t open to the public until late October. “You need to make sure you have money put away for the unexpected,” he said.

Another pitfall, according to Cerreta, is hiring employees who are not committed to your mission. “ I hired good people, but some of them didn’t really get what we were trying to do and it was constantly two steps forward and one step back,” she recalls today. When you do find the right people, she says you need to turn them loose. “You have to let people follow their passions, explore their ideas and bring them to fruition without fear of failure. You have to let them run,” she said.

She ran the café until 2009, when she stepped down from day to day duties to devote herself to helping people in other communities do the same. In addition to the 60 or so that have already opened, she is working with a couple of dozen groups today that are working to become successful social entrepreneurs.

She advises people planning to start cafes to create a community of supporters around the idea before opening. Some cafes, she said sell $10 wooden tokens that are each good for a meal, with one recently raising $30,000 that way before they had opened.

Likewise, Cerreta said people should have a business plan, just as they would if they were opening a for-profit restaurant. “It is just like a regular restaurant except with extra ways that people can eat, and extra ways to lose money,” she said.

She advises building relationships with farmers and offering to buy their seconds. One small thing that has helped restaurants reduce waste and save money is simply asking people what portion sizes they want.

Certainly not every social enterprise has much in common with a restaurant, but some useful tips from successful social entrepreneurs for almost any social enterprise are :

  • Write a business plan
  • Raise enough money to weather the unexpected
  • Create a community of supporters before launching
  • Hire people who buy into what you are doing

After Cerreta stepped down in 2009, the original One World Café continued to serve food under new leadership until 2012 when it closed. Thankfully One World continues to operate as a “Foundation that is mentoring communities around the globe based on our model. This has allowed [Cerreta] to focus on helping other communities, mentoring, and traveling to other areas to attain a deeper understanding of hunger, food insecurity, community and food resources.”

Having a great idea is one part of being a successful social entrepreneur. Taking your idea from vision to action is what will separate you from the pack. Need some coaching? Joining Vision and Action’s Social Enterprise Navigator Series one-on-one social enterprise consulting series will guide you through an efficient, well-defined, highly-collaborative process to grow and sustain long-term impact via the marketplace.

Secrets of the Successful Social Entrepreneur

What are the best kept secrets of the successful social entrepreneur?

Denise Cerreta successful social entrepreneurWhen Denise Cerreta opened America’s first “pay as you can” restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2003, she had no idea what was in store for her or how to become a successful social entrepreneur. “I was very undercapitalized when I opened and it was very stressful,” she says today. Since that time, roughly 60 similar restaurants have opened across the country, many of their founders mentored by Cerreta.

“I recommend that people raise at least six months of reserve capital before they open, so that if they don’t sell a single meal for six months, they will be OK,” she says.

That thought is echoed by Brad Birky who along with his wife Libby opened the second such restaurant in Denver in 2006. He said they raised $30,000 before the opened, but burned through most of that before they even opened their doors. They had signed a lease in June, thinking they would be open in a month or two, but the doors didn’t open to the public until late October. “You need to make sure you have money put away for the unexpected,” he said.

Another pitfall, according to Cerreta, is hiring employees who are not committed to your mission. “ I hired good people, but some of them didn’t really get what we were trying to do and it was constantly two steps forward and one step back,” she recalls today. When you do find the right people, she says you need to turn them loose. “You have to let people follow their passions, explore their ideas and bring them to fruition without fear of failure. You have to let them run,” she said.

She ran the café until 2009, when she stepped down from day to day duties to devote herself to helping people in other communities do the same. In addition to the 60 or so that have already opened, she is working with a couple of dozen groups today that are working to start similar cafes.

She advises people planning to start cafes to create a community of supporters around the idea before opening. Some cafes, she said sell $10 wooden tokens that are each good for a meal, with one recently raising $30,000 that way before they had opened.

Likewise, Cerreta said people should have a business plan, just as they would if they were opening a for-profit restaurant. “It is just like a regular restaurant except with extra ways that people can eat, and extra ways to lose money,” she said.

She advises building relationships with farmers and offering to buy their seconds. One small thing that has helped restaurants reduce waste and save money is simply asking people what portion sizes they want.

Certainly not every social enterprise has much in common with a restaurant, but some useful tips from successful social entrepreneurs for almost any social enterprise are :

  • Write a business plan
  • Raise enough money to weather the unexpected
  • Create a community of supporters before launching
  • Hire people who buy into what you are doing

After Cerreta stepped down in 2009, the original One World Café continued to serve food under new leadership until 2012 when it closed. Thankfully One World continues to operate as a “Foundation that is mentoring communities around the globe based on our model. This has allowed [Cerreta] to focus on helping other communities, mentoring, and traveling to other areas to attain a deeper understanding of hunger, food insecurity, community and food resources.”

Having a great idea is one part of being a successful social entrepreneur. Taking your idea from vision to action is what will separate you from the pack. Need some coaching? Joining Vision and Action’s Social Enterprise Navigator Series one-on-one social enterprise consulting series will guide you through an efficient, well-defined, highly-collaborative process to grow and sustain long-term impact via the marketplace.

 

Shopping Social Enterprise: Top 5 Mother’s Day Gifts

Shopping social enterprise is a way to honor your mom while helping other women.

By Janine Vanderburg, CEO Joining Vision and Action 

“There’s a reason some people think they can do anything–they listened to their mothers.” Although I don’t who said this, I wholeheartedly agree. Our mothers are often are our biggest and best cheerleaders, pushing us to be our exceptional selves. For me, it was a mom who had always wanted to go to college. She encouraged me to go, creating a first-generation college student. One of my proudest moments was to see her eventually realizing her dreams by graduating summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at 64.  (more…)

April 2016

Top 5 Traits of Successful Social Enterprises

what makes successful social enterprises?

By Rolfe Larson, Joining Vision and Action Social Enterprise Consultant

Research shows that successful social enterprises often share common characteristics.

There are many theories why some social enterprises flourish while others languish. Is it leadership, business planning, funding, market or timing that makes a successful social enterprise?

Joining Vision and Action is dedicated to providing social enterprises, nonprofits and government agencies with the tools and resources they need to succeed, sustain and scale. We bring research and innovation to this work, which we call implementation science. This allows our team of experts to provide more effective and imaginative tools to increase community impact.

So we took a deep dive into the research into what makes for a successful social enterprise. We studied what works and what doesn’t, to help practitioners, leaders and funders gain research-backed perspectives on the common ingredients for success. (more…)

March 2016

The One Thing a Social Enterprise Must Never Do

social enterprise

By Janine Vanderburg, President/CEO, Joining Vision and Action

What is the one thing a social enterprise must never do?

Believe that your customers will buy from you simply because of your social mission.

It’s a lesson I learned managing my first social enterprise in the early 1980s. Hoping to both employ women and generate revenue for the center, a nonprofit had started a home cleaning service. The marketing proposition that you can have your house cleaned and benefit other women at the same time was geared to middle- and upper-income women who had flooded the workforce.  (more…)