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Gov’s proclamation: May 20 to 26 is ‘Social Enterprise Week’

Contact: Bill Yelenak
Email: byelenak@providers.org
Phone: 617-428-3637 x122 (office) | 860-919-0369 (cell)

BOSTON – Businesses having a primary purpose as “the common good” will be celebrated throughout Massachusetts next week, as Governor Deval Patrick has signed a proclamation marking May 20 through May 26 as “Social Enterprise Week” in Massachusetts.

The week will coincide with the Social Enterprise Alliance Summit 2013, taking place from May 19 through May 22 in Minneapolis, MN. The event will attract Social Enterprise leaders from throughout Massachusetts and the country to discuss social enterprises – businesses that seek to use the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to advance social, environmental and human justice agendas. Massachusetts is home to a chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance, which hosts several events every year designed to build the field.

Businesses in Massachusetts classified as “social enterprises” include More Than Words Bookstore and Café in Boston and Waltham; Facilities Maintenance & Management, Inc. in Dorchester; Valley Tees in Greenfield; Providers’ eAcademy ® in Boston; and The Mercantile in Woburn, just to name a few. Many of the organizations are affiliated with human services organizations, and they often provide job training or work opportunities to clients and consumers. A directory of social enterprises is available online: http://www.providers.org/pages/social-enterprise-directory

“We are thrilled that Governor Patrick has recognized the importance of human services social enterprises that provide contributions to our state’s economy and a social benefit to some of our state’s most vulnerable residents,” said Providers’ Council President & CEO Michael Weekes. “These organizations are diversifying their revenue with earned income strategies, expanding job creation and increasing the employability of people with challenging circumstances.”

“Pine Street Inn is passionate about social enterprise as a vehicle to provide individuals we serve with the skills needed to be successful in the workplace. Revenue from our two enterprises, iCater, serving institutional and corporate catering needs; and Boston HandyWorks, a building maintenance and woodworking business, helps support our job training and employment programs,” said Anne Wunderli, Director of Support Services, Workforce Development & Social Enterprise.

The Providers' Council, also known as the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Inc., is the largest statewide membership association for community-based organizations providing social, rehabilitation, education and health care services.