May 20 – Social Enterprise Marketplace Gives Twin Cities Non-Profits Free Space To Market Their Products, Services

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Social Enterprise Marketplace Gives Twin Cities Non-Profits Free Space To Market Their Products, Services

Minnesota has sometimes been called the Land of 10,000 Non-Profits, so deeply embedded is the culture of compassionate assistance in the state. But here’s an additional twist on the non-profit story: many of the state’s non-profits may actually be functioning as “social enterprises” too – and either not know it – or not be taking enough credit for it.

That’s going to change.

On Monday, May 20, Minnesota’s social enterprise-oriented non-profits will have their day in the sun.  That’s when any Twin Cities non-profit with an attached money-making revenue stream can present itself as part of the first-ever Twin Cities Marketplace at the national Social Enterprise Alliance’s (SEA) Summit.  The Marketplace is sponsored by the Greater Twin Cities United Way. The Marketplace will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott.

Social enterprises bridge the for-profit and nonprofit worlds and operate with a double-bottom line, according to Beth Parkhill, president, Social Enterprise Alliance – Twin Cities chapter.  “Their commercial operation earns a profit – a profit that can then be invested back into the organization to help it realize its social bottom line and addressing societal issues. We have a great number of social enterprises in Minnesota, although some of them may not publicly identify themselves as such.”

The SEA Summit Marketplace is an opportunity for the Twin Cities’ social enterprise organizations to step forward and stand out, not only among their peers, but also before more than 1,000 leading social enterprise practitioners, thinkers and businesses. The Marketplace is being held in conjunction with the national SEA Summit, to be held in Minneapolis from May 19-22. The summit brings together a high-powered audience of social enterprise practitioners, investors, lenders, philanthropists, educators and professionals from across the U.S.

Participation in the SEA marketplace is free of charge to any Minnesota non-profit that operates a profit-making enterprise.

“The Marketplace is a wonderful opportunity for social enterprises to not only gain valuable exposure with their peers, but also to sell their products and services,” says Parkhill. “We call it a marketplace for just that reason. We’re reaching out to Twin Cities-based businesses and government agencies to encourage them to visit The Marketplace – it’s free of charge to them too – and explore the variety of goods and services that may be valuable to their own enterprises.”

Non-profit social enterprises interested in displaying at the marketplace can register online at

More information on the SEA Summit 2013 is available online at

Twenty-two different Minnesota-based social enterprises had registered to exhibit at the marketplace as of April 22, including Tasks Unlimited, Genesys Works, Momentum Enterprises (formerly PPL Enterprises), Peace Coffee, Rise, Inc., Lifetrack Resources, CityKid Java and Cookie Cart. “Plenty of exhibit space is still available,” says Parkhill. “This is a one-time opportunity for non-profits to get their for-profit goods and services displayed in an arena where the buyers will come to them. A few Twin Cities social enterprises are for profit businesses with a double or triple bottom line, they are encouraged to participate in the Marketplace too.”

About the Social Enterprise Alliance Twin Cities (SEA-TC)

Social Enterprise Alliance – Twin Cities (SEA-TC) is one of 13 chapters of the national organization.  SEA-TC serves as a catalyst for the success and expansion of social enterprise in Minnesota.  We provide access to educational, financial, & market resources to maximize social impact through “on purpose” business models.  Members include Genesys Works, Finnegan’s, Goodwill/Easter Seals, Momentum Enterprises, The Arc Value Village, Cookie Cart, CityKid Java, Hammer Travel, Midwest Special Services, Cornerstone, and more.  Its member base includes nonprofits, entrepreneurs, leaders and managers of social-purpose businesses, investors, philanthropists, and professionals from academia, business, consulting and law.

For more information, visit the website:  


About the Social Enterprise Alliance 

Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) is the champion for social enterprise in the United States with more than 1,000 members. Its aim is for social enterprise to reach its full potential as a force for positive social change, in service to the common good. To achieve this purpose, it provides social enterprises with the tools and resources they need to succeed, and works to build an optimal environment in which they can thrive. The national headquarters recently relocated from Washington, D.C., to the Twin Cities.

For more information, visit the website:

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