History

Established in 1987, Social Venture Network (SVN)​ was one of the nation’s first and most influential peer organizations dedicated to demonstrating the ‘triple bottom line’ potential of valuing people, planet, and profit. Through yearly gatherings, peer circles, and structured mentoring, SVN has both provided inspiration for new ventures and helped incubate other key contributors to the social venture community including BALLE, NetImpact, and Social Venture Circle .

Created in 1992, with founders including SVN leaders, Social Venture Circle (IC)​ was the nation’s first and most active early stage impact investing network. Over the past 25 years, IC has facilitated over $200m in investments in 330+ social ventures, addressing environmental, health, education, economic development, and other societal challenges. IC has cultivated community among individual angel investors, family offices, funds, and foundations; attracted and vetted early stage impact entrepreneurs; and facilitated investment through national and local convenings with a growing focus on building and connecting regional impact investing communities.

On January 1, 2018, IC and SVN merged forces to better foster and serve a nation-wide community of investors, entrepreneurs, and other capital and resource providers working to support the successful growth of social and environmental impact-oriented enterprises. With their combined experience, extensive networks, and shared vision for a sustainable and just economy, the new SVC is positioned to lead across today’s rapidly maturing social impact landscape.

Social Venture Circle (IC) and Social Venture Network (SVN) have both been pioneers in the impact investing and social entrepreneurship fields, and we are pleased to announce that our organizations will merge effective January 1, 2018. IC and SVN share origins and a vision for a sustainable and just economy, but for 25 and 30 years, respectively, we have operated independently to serve the unique needs of impact investors and mission-driven business leaders. As the world changes and the social impact ecosystem matures, we can better serve our communities and the broader field by joining forces.

This combination creates a new approach to solving problems that is anchored in community and driven by collaboration. It enables us to break down silos to focus on the critical issues of our time and build the right market-based solutions. We see an opportunity to set a new norm of inclusiveness and collaboration among investors, entrepreneurs, donors, policy makers, and thought leaders—moving forward together as a single organization meets the needs of the field by capitalizing on this opportunity, and it positions us to boldly guide the industry going forward.

The SVC merger embodies the spirit of the Social Venture Circle Good Companies, Good Jobs initiative, founded by a legacy gift from the The Hitachi Foundation, as we work to create change: through our investment portfolios, by partnering with entrepreneurs to promote mission-driven business models, and by integrating our values into the way business is done. The merger also elevates our strategic direction with more opportunities to engage locally, nationally, and virtually. From pitch meetings to peer circles, we will build upon the programs that our members value by honoring the connections within our existing networks and by creating new ways of collaborating across identities and interests. Combined efforts will allow us to accelerate and scale the collective power of our work.​

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