2011 was the year the “impact entrepreneur” was born.
Until that time, social entrepreneurship had rarely been placed within a context of systems change. As an entrepreneur, I had experienced first-hand the sense of dislocation and frustration that came from trying to build a triple bottom line company (one of the first B Corporations) in the conventional, single bottom line-dominated business world. It wasn’t easy, nor pretty. Furthermore, as a career professional in the sustainability field, well-versed in the major social and environmental challenges of the time, I felt a real sense of urgency about the need to transform the way we do business in the world — that our business needed to be the “business of change.”
Coining the term “impact entrepreneur”, characterizing impact entrepreneurship as a “systems-minded approach to social and environmental innovation”, and defining the word “impact” as “the rigorous application of blended value” and “transformation,” I believed that changemakers needed to be as focused on collaboratively building a supportive business paradigm and ecosystem — an “impact economy” — that can hold mission-driven businesses as they are on building the businesses themselves. Impact Entrepreneur was launched as the first international network of its kind in the world.
Realize Impact is Impact Entrepreneurs’s “fiscal sponsor“, a service where donors can provide donations to organizations that do work similar to a 501c3 nonprofit, but which themselves are not organized as a 501c3 nonprofit.