Economic development leaders in New Orleans ranging from start-up incubators like Propeller, to strategic sector development agencies like the New Orleans Business Alliance, gathered together to frame and highlight Impact Economy events during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW).
At a time when the nation seeks new approaches to job creation and economic renewal, the Impact Economy acknowledges the relationship between national competitiveness, social impact and environmental benefit. Figures suggest nearly $4 billion of impact investments globally took place in 2012, and, predicts as much as $1 trillion in the coming decade. Whether a start-up looking for a more convincing pitch, a business looking for greater consumer support, or a non-profit looking to capture talent in a growing and competitive market, New Orleans needs to familiarize itself with growing Impact Economy trends as poverty-alleviation and environmental regulators are turning to private company solutions for better results.
The Impact Economy Track during NOEW helps individuals, investors, and businesses identify economic development opportunities that encourage social enterprise working to leverage and protect our culture, environment, and community. Entrepreneurs can learn how to become a certified B Corporation or green business, gain funding resources, improve education, or participate in a wider movement of social innovation and problem solving.
What is the Impact Economy?
We use the below definition from the Aspen Institute when describing the Impact Economy:
At a time when the nation seeks new approaches to job creation and economic renewal, many experts acknowledge the relationship between national competitiveness, social impact and environmental benefit. This broad shift is exemplified by new capital flows, often referred to as impact investing, and new types of firms often referred to as social enterprises.
We describe this emerging ecosystem as the “Impact Economy,” a phenomenon that encompasses a wide range of sectors including community (or cultural) enterprises, clean tech, ethical brands and affordable housing.”
Who is working to promote the Impact Economy?
Propeller: Propeller focuses on the social impact, financial sustainability, and scalability of the ventures we work with. Their theory of change involves analyzing and assessing sectors for gaps, building a strong pipeline of social innovators, accelerating the most promising early-stage ideas, and providing a collaborative workspace for innovators in theris 10,000 s.f. facility.
The New Orleans Chamber of Commerce: Comprised of the people and companies that make New Orleans the most unique city in America. Chamber membership connects you with a network of New Orleanians who are as serious about work as they are about play. There’s no better time to be in business in New Orleans.
Creative Alliance of New Orleans: CANO’s mission is to provide training, education, and information for creative artists, cultural producers and the community, to protect our cultural legacy and to promote the revitalization of the city as a cultural and economic center.
Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation: The primary mission of LCEF is to be a catalyst for the development and enhancement of the distinct cultural industries of Louisiana by promoting the economic health and quality of life of our cultural economy workforce.
Horizon Initiative New Orleans: The Horizon Initiative is a group of over 300 culturally and racially diverse business and civic leaders dedicated to increasing prosperity and quality of life for all of the citizens of New Orleans through economic development. The Horizon Initiative has focused on three key projects: A Private Public Partnership for Economic Development and a National Coastal Laboratory, and on Yes! To Business Forums, hosted by the Horizon Initiative to ensure dialogue on issues of importance to the City’s economy.
New Orleans Business Alliance: The New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLA BA) is the official non-profit organization tasked with leading economic development initiatives for the City of New Orleans. NOLA BA is a public-private partnership between the City of New Orleans and private investors from the local community.
Tulane University Social Entrepreneurship Program: works to empower the Tulane community to create ethical, sustainable, and scalable solutions to pressing social challenges
The Idea Village: The Idea Village provides a broad array of high-impact educational and consulting services that support and facilitate entrepreneurial growth in New Orleans.
New Corp: A Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) specializing in small, minority, and women owned businesses. It is NewCorp’s mission to be an economic catalyst by providing technical assistance and access to capital to many small business in the greater New Orleans community. NewCorp distinguishes itself and is recognized as a leader in delivering financial and business services to historically disadvantaged businesses, minority businesses, women and physically challenged entrepreneurs.
To ask questions, provide comments, or learn about ways to become a part of the Impact Economy, email Liz@mylifecity.com