In May 2005, the Aspen Institute hosted a forum, Enterprising Organizations: New Asset-Based and Other Innovative Approaches to Solving Social and Economic Problems, that explored the growing social enterprise sector. Developed by the Aspen Institute’s Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation in collaboration with the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, the forum brought together representatives of entrepreneurial nonprofits, investors, foundation donors, elected officials, scholars, reporters, and others who play critical roles in this evolving landscape to:
* explore the current profit-for-social-benefit models;
* establish new networks among participants;
* share technical information and experience;
* formulate outreach and public relations strategies; and
* identify ways to develop and advance this emerging sector of hybrid organizations.
The result was a list of ideas for advancing this growing field of hybrid institutions and a first step toward creating an environment of collaboration across traditional sector lines.