SEEED 2012: Building Social Enterprise Ecosystems


We are so excited for the SEEED Conference to kick off this year! We have invited Josephine, the Outreach and BIG Challenge Coach for SEEED, to share her experiences and why she got involved. Check out her story below and definitely come and check out the conference on March 16th and 17th!


My fascination lies in finding efficient and effective solutions to solving social problems. Upon returning from Udaipur, India working for a small, local NGO I desired to understand how NGOs can be most effective — my thought process being that in order to avoid becoming another intermediary, NGOs should have as their overarching objective to be obsolete long term. At SOCAP last summer, I pondered about how the current philanthropic funding mechanisms are encouraging the behavior and problems of the non-profit world. My eyes have recently landed on Big Society Capital – the first wholesale social investment bank in the UK, which aims to develop the social investment market by catalyzing private investment.

The importance of structuring a stable and efficient infrastructure for social enterprises to thrive is becoming increasingly important. The social sector is lacking the efficiencies that the commercial sector naturally has developed — mostly due to different capital flow and customer relations. These efficiencies are found by innovating around market mechanisms to equalize supply and demand; using banking structures to strategically invest philanthropic capital balancing financial and impact returns; and promoting the creation of policies, incentives, and standardization to increase the effectiveness of the larger ecosystem. Social entrepreneurs are equally as important within this infrastructure for creating innovation, development, and resilience of market forces. Redesigning the structure of the social sector will allow for riskier innovation to happen and entrepreneurs to scale and deepen their impact. Luckily many exciting things are happening all over the globe and an opportunity has come to explore these initiatives together.

On March 16 and 17, Brown SII and SVPRI are organizing the first national social enterprise and ecosystem builders’ conference as drivers for economic development (SEEED). This will be an opportunity for practitioners, leaders, academics, and students to convene and discuss current issues, barriers, and solutions within the social enterprise field. There will be an extensive student track, multitude of panels, workshops, and networking opportunities to discover or grow within the social enterprise space. Students can even sign up for an executive mentoring session to discuss career options, venture issues, or develop a mentor relationship with experts in the field. For more information or to register, check out its video or go to Join me to be part of the SEEED movement!

– Josephine Korijn, Outreach and BIG Challenge Coaching for SEEED


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