By Anna Upchurch and Nikki Holland-Plum, JVA Consulting

Denver is known for many things. It is known for its view of the Rocky Mountains and the 200 named peaks visible from the city’s center. It is also known for its love for beer – more than 200 kinds are brewed here daily. However, less well known is the fact that Denver has more recently become a mecca for entrepreneurship. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Colorado was ranked the second-best state for entrepreneurship and innovation in 2014.

Denver is also home to a newer type of entrepreneurship – social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs use business models to solve social issues, and this type of work can be seen across Denver. Each social enterprise has a unique way of improving our community. For example, the Women’s Bean Project and Work Options for Women create transitional employment opportunities and build skill sets and confidence levels for impoverished women. Same Café provides good, healthy food options to the community for either a patron set price or for a trade of volunteer time. These organizations are alleviating economic and social problems while also meeting a bottom line.

Social enterprise is growing everywhere, and according to Forbes, it is not a fad that will come and go. It is here to stay. This is why JVA created the Social Enterprise BaseCamp. Our upcoming session will help social innovators:

  • Create a lean business model and plan
  • Determine how to conduct industry, competitor and market analyses
  • Develop a stakeholder communication plan
  • Learn how to find customers and how to sell
  • Understand the types of financing available
  • Confidently pitch their idea to investors
  • Create metrics to evaluate success

During our previous sessions, we have worked with social entrepreneurs from all over the country (and Canada!) who have come with a wide range of ideas, which we have helped them launch into successful social enterprise businesses. Stay tuned for past participant success stories. To learn more about the upcoming Social Enterprise BaseCamp, June 8-11, click here.