In the social enterprise field, it can be hard to find like-minded people.
Have you ever explained your social enterprise to a family member or friend and they give you a confused, blank stare?
Or tried to explain to a board member about a challenge about your social enterprise and they give you a raised eyebrow?
Or wanted to find a mentor to help guide you, only to find all the mentors are strictly for-profit minded?
There are actually quite a few places to find like-minded people in the social enterprise field.
People who GET IT.
This post covers 30 places to meet social entrepreneurs around the world at meetings, events and conferences.
Social Enterprise : Local Meetings and Events
Social Enterprise Alliance chapters
The Social Enterprise Alliance has 16 chapters across the United States, including Arizona, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, North Texas, San Francisco Bay Area, Tampa Bay, Twin Cities, Virginia and Washington State. Find your local chapter and attend a meeting or event.
Net Impact chapters
Impact Hub locations
There are 86 Impact Hub locations worldwide with 21 more in development. Impact Hub locations host co-working space as well as member and public events. Find your local Impact Hub location and attend an upcoming event.
Conscious Capitalism chapters
Council of Nonprofits events
Your state or local Council of Nonprofits may have social enterprise events, or may include social enterprise topics in upcoming roundtable lunches, local conferences or workgroups. Find your state's Council of Nonprofits to get involved.
Ashoka U Changemaker Campus
Social Enterprise : Conferences
SOCAP San Francisco, CA
Social Enterprise Alliance Summit Rotates each year - 2017 conference in Los Angeles, CA
Net Impact Conference Rotates each year - 2017 conference in Atlanta, GA
Impact Investing Summit London
Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference Boston, MA
Collaborative Conference Boston, MA
South by Southwest SXSW Austin, TX
Agents of Change Summit San Diego, CA
Opportunity Collaboration Ixtapa, Mexico
Emerge Conference University of Oxford, UK
Global Engagement Summit Chicago, IL
Social Enterprise Conference at Harvard Boston, MA
Global Health and Innovation Conference New Haven, CT
Fast Company Innovation Festival New York City, NY
Meaning Conference Brighton, UK
Nexus Global Summit Variety of Locations
OuiShareFest Paris, Barcelona and Rio
Sankalp Forum and Global Summits Jakarta, Indonesia and variety of locations.
Global Changemakers Summit Switzerland
Under 30 Changemakers Summit New York City, NY
Social Venture Partners Conference Sonoma, CA
Coherence Collaborative Wisdom Quest for Leaders Garrison, NY
And if you haven't found what you're looking for yet, check out Conveners - this resource has many events and conferences listed.
Where do you meet like-minded people? Let me know in the comments below!
EDIT: More resources added because of your suggestions!
Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship Santa Clara, CA
The Platform Brighton, UK
SOCENT Summit Phoenix, AZ
SRI Conference San Diego, CA
Good Festival Lausanne, Switzerland
Obama Foundation Summit Chicago, IL
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BETH PALM, MBA
Hi there! I'm Beth. I'm here to equip social entrepreneurs and change makers like you with the tools to change the world. As a jack-of-all-trades nonprofiteer and recognized social enterprise expert, I've walked the talk in this emerging industry. With over a decade of experience launching and managing social enterprises, I want to share my best tools, resources and knowledge with you.