SAINT PAUL DECLARES ITSELF A SOCIAL BUSINESS CITY

by Tom Surprenant | Apr 03, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

The first step is to get the City of St. Paul to declare itself a social business city. Then, with my million dollars I’d set up a social business fund. The idea of the social business comes from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. The successful economist who championed microfinance is now promoting the social business as a hybrid that combines the philanthropy of a nonprofit with the sustainability of a for-profit corporation. Imagine a business whose purpose is to address a problem or need of the city. Then picture a nonprofit whose capital generates revenues that can be invested and reinvested again and again in its philanthropic purpose. The fund would have two activities: (1) reaching out to the business community with the goal of getting EVERY business within the city’s limits generating a social business alone or in combination with others; and (2) providing supplementary, start-up capital to a handful of first projects with high promise to get the social initiative business really going.

About You

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About You

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Tom

Last Name

Surprenant

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United States

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Your idea

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Title of your idea

SAINT PAUL DECLARES ITSELF A SOCIAL BUSINESS CITY

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

The first step is to get the City of St. Paul to declare itself a social business city. Then, with my million dollars I’d set up a social business fund. The idea of the social business comes from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. The successful economist who championed microfinance is now promoting the social business as a hybrid that combines the philanthropy of a nonprofit with the sustainability of a for-profit corporation. Imagine a business whose purpose is to address a problem or need of the city. Then picture a nonprofit whose capital generates revenues that can be invested and reinvested again and again in its philanthropic purpose. The fund would have two activities: (1) reaching out to the business community with the goal of getting EVERY business within the city’s limits generating a social business alone or in combination with others; and (2) providing supplementary, start-up capital to a handful of first projects with high promise to get the social initiative business really going.

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Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

The concept of a social business is a shift from the way nonprofits typically operate. It’s also different from supporting startup businesses by low-income and historically excluded citizens to create work opportunities. The social business as promoted by Dr. Yunus has a social purpose in what it does. For example, it might be a business that restores a few abandoned houses per year. It might be a business that runs a health clinic. It might be a business that provides useful educational materials to daycare centers. The idea is to pick a problem, design a business to solve that problem, and then take it from there.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of this idea is that it has the potential to get everyone on the same page with an approach to addressing the city’s social problems in a way that makes a long-term, measurable impact. It gives our businesses, which have knowledge both of how to use investment capital to create revenues, the key stake in the success of the project. It would focus our foundations on leveraging their capital to create self-sustaining agents of social change.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

If successful, the project will be visible throughout the community. All neighborhoods will benefit. Consumers will know when they’re doing business with one of the city’s social businesses. Our for-profit companies will be able to market their successes. Right now, the city of Wiesbaden in Germany has declared itself a social business city. Dr. Yunus has an initiative in Haiti. I believe St. Paul would be the first U.S. city to embrace the concept of a social city. It could be a model for other cities.

johnshantelle143 johnshantelle143 said: Business can help us have a better income. However, what is important is to have a good people who works on it. - YOR Health about this Competition Entry. - 2620 days ago read more >

Tom Surprenant submitted this idea. - 2856 days ago