Social Entrepreneurship

The Role of Philanthropy in Social Enterprise & Entrepreneurship

Co-sponsors: Woodcock Foundation, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Acumen Fund, Ashoka, Common Good Ventures, Women’s World Banking

Woodcock has a history of supporting social enterprises and social entrepreneurship. In 2002, Woodcock collaborated with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to host a symposium that explored the merits and value of venture philanthropy and social enterprise. With over 120 individuals in attendance, the symposium brought together top thought leaders and practitioners in the not-for-profit and philanthropic fields to reflect on new data, research, and experience. The following year, Woodcock invited grantees Acumen, Ashoka, Common Good Ventures, and Women’s World Banking to join the board and other funders in a conversation about the state of the field. The conversation explored the capabilities of these four nonprofits, the financial instruments available to them, the financial needs of their clients, and the role of philanthropy in helping them to meet those needs and achieve their goals. A year later, in 2004, Woodcock co-hosted an event with Ashoka to discuss the best ways to change the relationship between social entrepreneurs and capital markets.  This event was organized to look at how Ashoka is creating ways to make the market function more efficiently, better equip social entrepreneurs to access capital, and explore strategies to change the dynamics of the market as a whole.