Rocking the World:
The CCT rocked the imaginations of guests at the latest Central Valley Community Foundation gala as we put on a mini Spark Tank Social Enterprise Pitch Fest, demonstrating how a social business can bring transformation to lives and communities through a non-charity means. Three social enterprises pitched their approaches and told corresponding stories of transformation. Rock Pile Landscaping featured their ability to employ men coming out of incarceration and reintegrate them into society. Vikki Luna and Marina Kramer of Cornerstone Coffee featured their commitment to helping employ women coming out of rehab, training them with employable skills. Eric and Sheena Leung of Community Music School sang the praises of the marginalized students they are helping to get a music education. All three have chosen a social enterprise with a sustainable revenue model, rather than a charity model.
Here’s where it got amazing:
First prize was $1000, second was $500 and third $250, but the pitches so rocked some guests that they told organizers they wanted all three to receive the top prize and made extra gifts to fund it. Rock Pile took the grand prize, but all three we’re awarded top-prize amounts. But that’s not all. One table of guests were so taken by the power of the social enterprise model, and Rock Pile in particular, that they independently raised an additional $7,000 to help Rock Pile acquire a crucial piece of equipment that will help them be able to take on more jobs and employ more men coming out of prison.
Upcoming Social Business Plan workshop and Spark Tank:
Churches and faith-centered entrepreneurs are welcome to attend the upcoming free, Social Business Plan Workshop on September 12 where we will train teams to write a plan for a business that achieves a social good objective. And save the date for the Spark Tank Social Enterprise Pitch Fest in the fall on November 13. Teams wishing to compete in the Spark Tank must submit their pitches by Sept 30.