New Award Honors Social Entrepreneurs

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Special Commentary by Jonathan Leibert

Social Impact is the outcome of a mission-driven business or a business with a “higher purpose,” that uses the powerful economic engine of capitalism for good, not merely for gain.  Social Impact also refers to the emerging fourth sector of the economy and is made up of Social Enterprise, Social Business, Conscious Capitalism and Public Benefit Corporations.  These businesses often adhere to a philosophy of the triple bottom line: people, profit and planet, which can be described as mission, margin and community impact.  Businesses and Organizations that create social impact have this effort woven in the core of their products, employees, culture, and how they support the community.

Social impact businesses are also brands that are well-known, such as New Belgium Brewing, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, The Honest Company, and Klean Kanteen. What you may not know is that Colorado Springs is home to many social impact business and social entrepreneurs driven by both purpose and business expertise to help solve prevalent social issues.

The PRISM Awards were created to provide awareness of this growing sector and give recognition to the social entrepreneurs that are contributing to our economy while creating impact for our community.  We will offer awards in three different categories:  Social Impact Business of the Year, Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and Social Impact Startup of the Year.

Please join us on March 3rd from 4:30pm – 8pm at The Carter Payne for a free event that will celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship and our community.  We are pleased to have Vectra Bank join us in presenting this first-of-its-kind event. Vectra Bank states their reason to support this effort is “because we are dedicated to the Pikes Peak region, and we understand why families and businesses choose to grow, play and work here. From day one, our mission has been to provide products and services designed to cultivate a healthy, thriving community throughout Colorado and New Mexico. Our bankers think creatively to shape custom financial solutions for those raising a family or creating the next great local business.” As Vectra Bank has found, to be innovative across industries can lift up a community and create opportunities that we wouldn’t have without collaboration and community focus.

By honoring this new sector, we hope to drive more innovation and create more social entrepreneurs and innovation in our community.  We thank the following sponsors for supporting the PRISM Awards and the social impact movement:  Springs Rescue Mission, Colorado Springs Independent, Blue Star Recyclers, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, AM 740 KVOR and Blakely & Company.  Please join us at this event – network, engage, and be inspired by a new way of doing business![su_note note_color=”#7db9ff”]Help us honor these businesses and organizations by nominating them for a PRISM Award.

Social Impact Business of the Year is a business that has been in operation for at 3 years and has shown sustainability while achieving notable impact through their business model in the Southern Colorado community.

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Social Entrepreneur of the Year is an individual that achieves systemic and sustainable social change through innovation, a unique approach to a product or service, an innovative partnership or a redesign of known technologies or strategies, or a combination of these.

Social Impact Start Up of the Year is a social impact business that has been operating less than 3 years as of December 2016, and that can clearly demonstrate their impact but also articulate their future vision and how they are going to achieve future growth.

Nominations now open through February 15th and can be submitted online at bbbsc.org.[/su_note]