I read with great interest the article published in BusinessWeek.com on June 22, 2011. The article profiles twenty-five fascinating social ventures from across the United States whose size, focus area, and influence are wide-ranging and incredibly diverse. The top twenty-five were selected by BusinessWeek.com from a pool of two hundred submitted by readers in this third annual round-up.
As a SWSG Board Member, I wanted to understand the common characteristics of these talented individuals and organizations. Surely, SWSG must possess all if not more of the characteristics these organizations share. Simply put, there are three things these interesting groups do without fail:
1. Care about and measure their impact
2. Innovate
3. Ensure business success.
Another common denominator in many of these highlighted organizations is the creative use of technology — whether to get timely information to underserved communities, provide solutions which enable farmers to keep milk colder longer, or securing low cost medical devices to be used in third world countries to improve women’s health – the application of technology is impressive.
In fact, initially as I read I thought one of the top three similarities must be the use of technology but as I continued reading in fascination and awe, the article highlighted many lower tech ventures — a green roofs project designed to limit run-off and improve environmental conditions, an intriguing organization that bakes brownies not for the brownies themselves (though they do sell them to other socially conscious organizations like Ben & Jerry’s) but in order to train disadvantage workers in a low income New York community and a group bringing healthy foods to under served school systems.
Of course behind each of these organizations is a passionate group of professionals dedicated and committed to their mission and successful achievement of it.  This similarity to SWSG struck me immediately. It seems like each and every day our talented hard-working professionals are winning awards (see our own Meghan Tombly’s most recent honor), being spotlighted for their creativity or achieving unprecedented results for SWSG.
So, what did I learn from this article to help SWSG??  Not much really – we just need to keep doing the fabulous work we are doing – creating communities of strong women committed to promoting social change – and surely we’ll find our way to this impressive list in no time!