Building Local and Regional Partnerships
Individual social enterprises make a tremendous impact in their communities by employing and providing services to people with high employment barriers, preparing them to re-enter and succeed in the workforce. However, in order to grow and thrive, and access new opportunities, social enterprises need to come together in their local communities to leverage partnerships with businesses, government, nonprofits, and philanthropy. REDF’s role in regional partnership building is to convene the practitioner community, build local social enterprise capacity through the venture philanthropy approach, and connect social enterprises to each other for peer-to-peer learning, and cultivate cross-sector opportunities to grow and employ more people.
REDF, with the City of Los Angeles, created a successful prototype of a social enterprise regional partnership in California— LA:RISE - the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise—unites social enterprises with L.A.’s public Workforce Development System, competitive employers, and specialized service providers to help people facing employment barriers get good jobs and stay employed. This effort has employed over 1,700 people to date, and has expanded throughout Los Angeles County as one response to the region’s homelessness crisis.
Informed by what we’ve learned after two years of leading LA:RISE, REDF is now working to develop social enterprise regional partnerships in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and other emerging communities.