- Public invited to Valley’s only social enterprise event
- Social enterprises use business to achieve transformation in our community
Community people solving community problems through business has been the hallmark of the Spark Tank competition hosted by the Fresno Pacific University Center for Community Transformation.
The tradition continues Thursday, June 17, with an award ceremony from 10:00-11:30 a.m. in the Encore Amphitheater, located off Hamilton Avenue on the south side of the main FPU campus. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend, but registration is required to allow for safe practices. Hand sanitizer will be available, and visitors will wear masks unless enjoying beverages by Lanna Coffee, a local social enterprise and past Spark Tank winner. Sign up at https://cct-2021-spark-tank-tickets.eventbrite.com and receive parking directions and COVID-19 protocols.
Award winners for 2021 will share their models of addressing and solving problems through social enterprise. Each business received a full scholarship from the Lilly Foundation to the CCT’s Social Enterprise Academy and successfully completed the program.
Since 2013, Spark Tank has helped to catalyze 58 social enterprises in the Valley, resulting in:
- Income of $3.7M generated by social enterprises awarded capital via Spark Tank.
- A range of products and services to the community as well as jobs to more than 260 people, many of whom face challenges to employment.
- The investment of over $100,000 in start-up capital provided through the support and participation of community partners such as Beneficial State Bank, Bitwise Industries, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Lanna Coffee Co. and many individual donors.
“We remain committed to seeing social enterprises thrive, supporting local businesses, non-profits and individuals to bring change to their communities,” says Randy White, D.Min., executive director of CCT and associate professor of community transformation at FPU.
Spark Tank is the Valley’s only social enterprise event, boasting a start-up success rate double the national average. Social enterprise uses the principles of business to get beyond charity and address specific community problems.
Past winners have been launched by churches, community organizations and individuals. To be eligible, a social enterprise must have a financially profitable revenue stream, a strategic social impact goal that can be measured and managed and a plan to operate in an environmentally responsible manner.
CCT connects the strengths of FPU with the resources of the region to transform cities. Part of the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, the center supports entrepreneurial creativity, spiritual freedom, economic vitality and justice, environmental integrity, cross-cultural/social collaboration and political health in the Central Valley.