The Social Enterprise Alliance was created in response to a conversation among conference attendees who believed that people working in the field needed a focused forum to connect and share their experiences. It has since grown to become a national resource and advocacy organization with 11 local chapters.
Anne Wunderli serves as board chair for the Massachusetts chapter of SEA. The chapter is building a rich “ecosystem” for professionals who are engaged in social enterprise, offering a variety of free events and activities across the state. In addition to promoting knowledge among practitioners, SEA-Mass works to educate policymakers about ways to advance the field, such as state adoption of the L3C business structure.
Public education is also on the long-term agenda — to help people better understand what social enterprise is and the value it provides. “It’s an exciting message to be able to share,” Anne says. “And I think it resonates very strongly when people hear it.” Anne says that consumers will prefer to have their dollars go to an organization with a social mission, but she understands that the mission alone isn’t enough to sell products or services. “We have to be true competitors in whatever market we’re operating in.” SEA-Mass is working to help socent businesses succeed in the marketplace and achieve their social impact goals.
Click the audio player below to listen to Anne’s interview and learn more about SEA-Mass.