The Colorado Institute for Social Impact (CI4SI) will launch Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 4 p.m. with a press conference, followed by a reception.

A social enterprise of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, CI4SI in intended to provide more awareness of the Fourth Sector of the economy, referred to as the Social Impact Sector, and be the catalyst for more businesses that generate a social impact, according to a news release issued by the BBB of Southern Colorado.

CI4SI evolved from an initiative, the Colorado Coalition for Social Impact, which the BBB of Southern Colorado piloted a year ago. Requests for more information, resources, events and innovations led to the separate organization being created, the release states.

CI4SI also seeks to increase consumer awareness about social enterprises and how money can go further when they purchasing from social impact businesses. CI4SI’s mission is to “Harness Social Impact to accelerate the evolution of business,'” according to the release.

“We want to help people understand that social impact can align a business’ values with its customers’ values through transparency of the business goals followed by measurement of their impact on the community,” said Jonathan Liebert, CEO and executive director of BBB of Southern Colorado and the Colorado Institute for Social Impact. “CI4SI will bring people together in this sector  and they will be able to build on each other’s successes and failures, helping to evolve business with collaborative competition.”

Liebert said consumers must think beyond the bottom line and look to businesses with a higher purpose.

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“The economic rules are changing,” he said in the release. “Consumers are more informed and conscious about where they spend their money. They want to know how businesses are positively impacting their communities.

“We believe that Colorado Springs is the ideal location and is well positioned to lead the national movement on social impact,” Liebert said.

CI4SI will provide social entrepreneurs with training, resources and education for social impact businesses. Upcoming initiatives available through CI4SI will include:

  • Education and training on launching a new social impact business or converting an existing non-profit organization or business;
  • Networking events;
  • Consultative services;
  • Social Return on Investment measurement analysis;
  • First-of-its-kind social entrepreneur assessments;
  • Annual Social Impact Conference; and
  • Annual PRISM Awards, honoring local social entrepreneurs creating impact in the community.

The unveiling of the CI4SI’s website, its SROI study performed for the Beanstalk Foundation and services offered will happen at today’s press conference. In partnership with Peak Startup Week, this event is featured in the Wednesday, Aug. 23, event agenda.

“Social impact can evolve capitalism and social impact businesses can inspire others to strive for a higher purpose,” said Rocky White, chair of CI4SI’s board of directors, in the release.

Among CI4SI’s board of directors are the following social impact businesses: Springs Rescue Mission/Mission Catering, Common Cause Catering and Local Relic, Professional Transition Services, Silver Key Senior Services/Key Benefits, Blue Star Recyclers and Energy Resource Center.

CI4SI is currently collaborating with the Pikes Peak Library District, Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, Peak Startup and the Beanstalk Foundation to heighten awareness of the Fourth Sector.

Space is limited and registration is required to attend the reception. Reservations can be made online at bit.ly/2hL3ybs.

Note: This story has been corrected. The date of the event is Aug. 23.