WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston is ranked the number one U.S. city for social entrepreneurs followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver, according to a new report by Halcyon, home of Halcyon Incubator. The report, "A Step Forward: Social Enterprise Ecosystems in the U.S. (Volume 3)," ranks the top cities in the U.S. based on four categories: funding, human capital, quality of life and support systems. The findings will be released today in San Francisco at SOCAP 2019, the leading gathering of global changemakers addressing the world's toughest challenges through market-based solutions.
"Halcyon's Social Enterprise Ecosystems Report allows founders at the vanguard of our economy to voice their experiences on what makes a great ecosystem for impact," said Halcyon Chief Innovation Officer Ryan Ross, an author of the report. "We've combined our survey data with publicly available information to provide a comprehensive, insightful look at ecosystems across the country."
"The Bush Foundation is pleased to support Halcyon in creating The Social Enterprise Ecosystems Report," said Allison Barmann, Bush Foundation Strategy and Learning Vice President. "The report is showing how, over time, this space is evolving. That's information that is useful to everyone from policymakers to funders to social entrepreneurs themselves."
The new report details how the social enterprise sector has evolved. For instance, today, some of the top performing companies such as Beyond Meat and their record-breaking IPO this year are social enterprises. Universities are rushing to add programs to support the growing wave of students demanding social entrepreneurship programming and cities are rapidly expanding their support systems for founders. With Business Roundtable's recent declaration that business must move away from shareholder primacy and commit to all stakeholders, the momentum in this space necessitates a deep look at the ecosystems driving this growth.
By surveying 624 social enterprise actors to understand what makes a great ecosystem, the report revealed:
- This is a great moment for mid-sized cities such as Pittsburgh, Detroit, New Orleans, Dallas and Minneapolis-St. Paul, which did well in the rankings, in no small part due to the affordability of those locales and access to highly educated and well-trained pools of talent.
- The funding gap for younger entrepreneurs is narrowing. Entrepreneurs over 35 are still raising more capital than those under 35, but the average amount raised decreased from 2017 to 2019. On the other hand, the average amount of capital raised by entrepreneurs under 25 doubled from 2017 to 2019. Certain kinds of funding are still easiest for entrepreneurs over 35. For instance, raising capital from angel investors gets easier as entrepreneurs get older.
- Organizations headed by a white person raised almost three times the amount of capital as organizations headed by someone who is Black or Latinx.
- Among organizations with five or more staff members, organizations headed by men raised more than 50% more capital than organizations headed by women.
- More organizations led by women (42%) reported their teams are majority people of color, compared to organizations led by men (31%).
- Entrepreneurs 30 years and younger are more likely to work at organizations where the majority of staff hold a bachelor's degree.
- White and Asian survey respondents were more satisfied with the inclusiveness of social enterprises in their cities, compared to Latinx and Black survey respondents. However, from 2017 to 2019, Black survey respondents reported an increase in inclusiveness of their cities – from an average rating of 2.4/5.0 to 3.6/5.0 – an indication that though their satisfaction still lags behind that of their white counterparts, the ecosystems may be improving.
- Across the board, survey respondents generally agreed that their city's policies promote a culture of entrepreneurship (73% somewhat or strongly agree) and that their cities provide business support (64% somewhat or strongly agree).
Cities surveyed include Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Orleans, New York City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
For the full report visit SEER.
Halcyon is a new kind of nonprofit organization that lifts up innovators and creators, giving them the tools and opportunities they need to bring their ideas to life. Its longest running program, Halcyon Incubator is helping social entrepreneurs transform audacious ideas into scalable and sustainable ventures and serves as a catalyst for measurable social outcomes. Halcyon's other signature programs include Incubator Intensives, Halcyon Arts Lab, By The People arts and dialogue festival and Halcyon Awards. Since its founding, Halcyon has built programming around the core tenets of space, community and access, continuously evolving to identify and provide a haven for big dreamers and risk-takers the world over. Halcyonhouse.org
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