Social Enterprise



The Support Center is leading a working group of organizations and individuals who are trying to build up a community around social impact investing.  Our goal is to bring together the supply and demand sides of the impact economy across the state.


    • To create an integrated community of social entrepreneurs and impact investors that fosters collaboration, education, support and capital investment.
    • Over the last ten years, an incredible spectrum of models and mechanisms has emerged for tackling social problems. Today we can look at models spanning from nonprofits operating earned income ventures to for profits adhering to a triple bottom line. An expanding universe of funding tools is also arising such as social impact bonds, program-related investments, crowdfunding and impact investment portfolios with the opportunity to deploy additional capital to further social goals. However, this expanded array of financial products, funding streams, corporate structures and approaches is not without its cost. We believe the fragmentation has prevented a unified social enterprise investment community from forming along with unnecessary time navigating the available resources and redundant or underutilized resources.
    • Beginning in 2015, a working group of professionals and aligned organizations began discussing the creation of a community and “exchange” in the NY/NJ area that could connect impactful social ventures with access to capital in a more unified impact investment “system.”. The purposes are to:
    • A) Highlight innovative approaches being taken by social entrepreneurs to solve social problems;
      B) Streamline access to the range of grants, loans and investments available to social entrepreneurs;
      C) Make it easier for impact investors across the spectrum to identify and invest in social ventures;
      D) Communicate developments in the regional social enterprise sector;
      E) Build a more interconnected community of social enterprises and impact investors.
    • We envision biannual gatherings where institutions and individuals with a focus on impact can hear directly from social entrepreneurs about the problems they are seeing, their new strategies for meeting those needs, and their case for support. As an ongoing effort, we are building a pipeline of organizations and social ventures working their way towards “investment ready” at which point they may present at an Impact Investment Gathering. The first such gathering was held on May 4, 2016 at Rutgers Business School with a second scheduled for November 4, 2016. We are currently soliciting applications for ventures seeking grants, loans, or equity investments.
    • The following organizations are strategic partners in bringing together the supply and demand sides of impact investment in New Jersey, some leading at the working group level and some providing guidance in the landscape of social entrepreneurship and impact investing.
    • The Center for Nonprofits
      Community Foundation of New Jersey Foundation Center
      Inspiring Capital
      New Jersey Community Capital
      New Jersey Office of Faith-Based Initiatives Pro Bono Partnership
      Rutgers Business School SeaChange Capital Partners
    • The following is a sampling of organizations represented at the first Impact Investment Gathering on May 4, 2016:Choose New Jersey Cleantech Open
      Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
      Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation JPMorgan Chase
      Lead New Jersey Moore Foundation Morgan Stanley
      New Jersey Economic Development Authority Rising Tide Capital
      Taproot Foundation Terrace Fund Victoria Foundation UBS


Registration is now open for the Fall 2017 NJ Impact Economy Gathering! To register, click here. Interested in presenting your social venture? Click here to apply.


thumbnail Thank you to those who attended the Spring 2017 New Jersey Impact Economy Gathering! To view recap of the event, click here. We look forward to holding more gatherings in 2018 and continuing to grow this community and help social enterprises thrive. 


#NJSocEnt Event Recap Video

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The promise of social enterprise and why it works.


DSC_6460Click here to view highlights from all previous Impact Economy Gatherings where NJ based social enterprises, representing innovative and diverse ventures, had the opportunity to present their business cases and the incredible impact they are having in their communities.