Entrepreneurs / Events

UMB is celebrating local social entrepreneurship with a special event

The convening acts as a celebration of how Baltimore built a reputation around social entrepreneurship, as well as a series of discussions on where the movement can take the city next.

Baltimore's skyline at night. (Photo by Flickr user John Perry, used via a Creative Commons license)

Technical.ly has been covering Baltimore’s social entrepreneurship movement since at least 2013, if not longer. On Wednesday, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is hosting a retrospective and celebration of this idea that birthed companies like RowdyOrb.it and accelerators like Conscious Venture Lab (CVL)

Social Enterprise in Baltimore — How It Started, How It’s Going & Where Do We Go From Here” takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Maryland School of Social Work Auditorium. It will feature two UM Graduate School-hosted panels discussing the past, present and future of social entrepreneurship in Charm City.

The first, titled “A Look Back,” will feature Michelle Geiss, cofounder and executive director of Impact Hub Baltimore; and Rodney Foxworth, founder of the Baltimore Social Enterprise Breakfasts and CEO of Common Future, among others. After that morning panel, an afternoon one will focus on the question “Where do we go from here?” with participants like Jonathan Moore, CEO of RowdyOrb.it; Jamye Wooten, founder and CEO of CLLCTIVLY; and Jay Nwachu, president and CEO of Innovation Works. Sandwiched between the panels is a keynote lunch featuring John Brothers, president of the T. Rowe Price Foundation and T. Rowe Price Charitable.

All of the day’s programming revolves around the importance of mission-driven startups in the local business climate. Often described with terms like “social enterprises,” “social entrepreneurship” or “conscious capitalism,” these companies work according to the idea that a for-profit business’s mission and social impact of a for-profit business are as important as its making a buck. The business has a social mission but stops short of becoming a nonprofit, with the rationale for not becoming a 501(c)(3) organization often involving self-sustainability and proper compensation for a team member’s work.

The model has achieved prominence in Baltimore and is growing around the world.

Tickets for the event are free for students and pay-what-you-can for all other attendees.

Find tickets here Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: Impact Hub Baltimore / University of Maryland, Baltimore
People: Rodney Foxworth

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