Social enterprises use business to transform communities, and four new ones will be announced at Spark Tank EXPO sponsored by the Fresno Pacific University Center for Community Transformation.
The event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Thursday, June 15, in the Warkentine Culture and Arts Center on the main FPU campus. Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend, but registration is suggested. Among the premiums available, Hope Now for Youth will provide lunch for the first 150 people (paid for by the CCT). Sign up at cctfresno.org/cct-spark-tank-expo-2023
Awards will total $25,000 and the 2023 winners will share their models of addressing and solving problems through social enterprise. Each business successfully completed the CCT’s Social Enterprise Academy on a full scholarship from the Lilly Foundation.
Spark Tank is the Valley’s only social enterprise event, boasting a start-up success rate double the national average, with 58% generating revenue three-plus years after start-up. Since 2013, Spark Tank has helped to catalyze 57 social enterprises in the Valley, resulting in:
- Income of $4.9M generated by social enterprises awarded capital via Spark Tank from 2017-2020.
- A range of products and services to the community as well as jobs to more than 300 people, many of whom face challenges to employment.
- The investment of over $136,000 in start-up capital provided through the support and participation of community partners such as Wawona Frozen Foods, Shehadey Family Foods-Producers Dairy, Cen Cal Business Finance Group, Beneficial State Bank and past sponsors Wells Fargo, Self-Help Credit Union and EECU (Educational Employees Credit Union).
Social enterprises can be launched by churches, community organizations or individuals. To be eligible for Spark Tank, an entry 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. More on all CCT programs at cctfresno.org