Of course you didn't - after all, it was one of the few items that you might have missed. Governor Quinn made a proclamation last week declaring this week as a way of celebrating social enterprises - businesses that take on a socially-minded mission, focusing more on stakeholders than stockholders.
Admittedly, it's a movement that Illinois is spearheading (Full Disclosure: I volunteer for a state task force which is driving awareness around social enterprises), but as there is increasing need to deal with pressing social issues and concerns in an uncertain state fiscal climate, fostering any business growth is beneficial to Illinois....and driving socially minded businesses is part of driving overall social good. Mix efforts to drive business with other efforts to support non-profits, NGOs, and other social change agents, and Illinois has an opportunity to take lead in driving and fostering community growth.
So, how can you help celebrate this week? Consider reaching out to the Illinois Task Force. Read more about unique business forms like L3Cs or benefit corporations. Network with social entrepreneurs and innovators - for example, Panzanzee, a social
venture incubator/co-working space, holds a regular networking lunch Fridays at noon at 325 N. Huron, # 300. (It's a brown bag lunch, but having attended in the past, I can definitely recommend making a visit)
You've read plenty of headlines about many of the challenges Illinois is facing... driving the growth of businesses that make an honest effort towards social benefit is part of the strategy, and is not only a smart, strategic way of doing so....it's one worth celebrating.
Have questions, comments, or thoughts? Please leave them below...and if you wish to contact me privately, you are more than welcome to do so via Linked In or my web site's contact page. And as always, thanks for reading!