LAUNCHING THE GREAT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PITCH
In the Spring of 2014, ASSETS and the Community Foundation launched the Great Social Enterprise Pitch, an idea incubator and friendly business competition which aims to empower local entrepreneurs whose businesses have a triple bottom line – people, planet, profit. At the close of the pilot program, over 600 donors invested over $15,000 as a show of their confidence in these ideas. 5 finalists were then chosen to present to a panel of judges and a crowd of over 200 community supporters. These finalists competed for over $40,000 in cash and pro-bono prizes to help launch and grow their social enterprise.
Live Pitch Recap
The Common Wheel Takes Top Prize
In the end, The Common Wheel rolled to victory.
The community bike center, which opened for business last month in the former pump house at Reservoir Park, took top prize Friday evening at the Great Social Enterprise Pitch.
Co-founders Chris Caldwell and Brad Copeland earned themselves $5,000 plus products and services worth more than $13,000, donated by local companies.
A Pay What You Can Food Truck.
A Community Bike Center.
Landscapes in harmony with nature.
A resource for new people in a new place.
A social enterprise youth hostel in downtown Lancaster.
A nomadic animal grazing system.
Pardon and expungement services.
Handcrafted loungewear with a mission.
Rev. Julius Walls is an A.M.E. Zion Church minister, President of the Greater Centennial Community Development Corporation, and the former CEO of Greyston Bakery, a $7 million social enterprise that proclaims “we don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.” Walls is the co-author of “Mission Inc; The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise.” He serves on many boards in Yonkers, NY including the Workforce Investment Board and the Community Action Program. Nationally, he’s served on the Corporate Leadership Advisory Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Social Enterprise Alliance.