This past Friday, I had the great opportunity to attend the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year award. It was an inspiring program to see so many talented and driven entrepreneurs who had been successful in their ventures. Perhaps the most inspiring part of the program was how many of the entrepreneurs shared their “big pie” mentality as a driving force for their success.
I had the unique privelage of sitting at the table with Fraser Nelson, Greg Warnock and a number of successful entrepreneurs and humanitarians. 2009, was the first year that Ernst and Young has ever had a Social Entrepreneur category. Although this year it was limited to only 501(c)3 organizations, (I understand their need to simplify, although I feel strongly that sustainability should be a top priority over classification) I was excited to see the finalists gain recognition for their efforts.
As more and more entrepreneurs are looking to tackle social challenges through innovation and sustainable programs, the Utah Community Foundation has certainly done well to provide a platform for this growing segment. As a sponsor of this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year award, the community foundation did well to stress the need of bringing entrepreneurs to the attention that our skills and talents need to reach beyond a single bottom line.
It may come as a surprise to some people, but Utah is the first state in America to have a social entrepreneurship category for the Ernst and Young Award. Hmmm… That’s a pretty big deal I think. Thanks to The Community Foundation of Utah for pushing for it.
I imagine we’ll hear a lot more about the Utah Community Foundation and things move forward. I also think social entrepreneurship will continue to gain momentum within the Non-Profit and For-Profit arenas.