Meet the Finalists for the 10th Annual Social Enterprise of the Year Awards

The finalists for the 2022 Social Enterprise of the Year Awards presented by The Metropreneur and SocialVentures show the diversity of forms that social enterprise can take. Whether creating employment opportunities, donating profits, or building communities for underserved populations, each has a profound impact on Central Ohio (and beyond!).

Join us at Aspire 2022 on Thursday, October 20 to crown this year’s winners of the Emerging Social Enterprise of the Year Award and the Social Enterprise of the Year Award. Learn more about each of the outstanding finalists below.

Emerging Social Enterprise of the Year

The Emerging Social Enterprise of the Year Award recognizes local for-profit businesses, independent nonprofits, or businesses of an existing nonprofit with a social mission that are in the early stages of development or business operations.

Cafe view

A joint service project! Relief for Hospitality Workers and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, Cafe Overlook advocates for service industry workers, while helping to eliminate financial insecurity, strengthen the local workforce, and improve job opportunities. advancement in the restaurant industry. The Social Enterprise Café on the 16th floor of the Franklin County Courthouse offers innovative workforce development programs that include living wages and health benefits, as well as comprehensive services like child care children and transportation assistance. Since opening in March 2022, Cafe Overlook has provided opportunities for over 30 low-income people and helped overcome barriers that would impact individuals’ ability to maintain stable employment. In addition, one person moved to a new position at another restaurant – a major goal of the program.

For more information, visit

Petals that inspire

Inspiring creativity and empowering community members through floral design, Petals That Inspire offers a wide-ranging model that includes residential and commercial floral subscriptions, special event floral orders, and floral design courses. Petals That Inspire’s workshops with residents of Star House, which provides services to youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, help people entering or re-entering the workforce develop soft skills needed to succeed. Participants gained self-confidence, demonstrated leadership in helping new participants, and took responsibility and accountability for their work in a flexible and creative setting. It was a pivotal year for Petals That Inspire, as the social enterprise opened its first brick-and-mortar mortar location, hired its first employee, and was able to host weekly workshops with Star House guests in their space.

For more information, visit


Bringing artists’ work out of studios and warehouses into the real world, Rela has created a new distribution model for the local art market. Rela turns any space into an art gallery with its low-cost, low-commitment subscription plans that help anyone display original artwork in their commercial or residential spaces. Saving space from blank walls and mass-produced artwork, Rela is a win-win, putting artists’ works in front of people who might not otherwise interact with her, while creating consistent monthly revenue. for creators through subscription fees as well as incremental sales. Rela focuses on accessibility, visibility, sustainability and engagement, resonating with the more than 50 artists who have signed up to be part of the platform.

For more information, visit

Social Enterprise of the Year

The Social Enterprise of the Year Award recognizes social enterprises of any structure with a social mission and demonstrable impact that have also helped make a name for social enterprise as a way of doing business in Central Ohio.

Souvenir T-Shirt Quilts and Blankets

For over 20 years, Keepsake T-Shirt Quilts & Blankets has been creating jobs for deaf people in a barrier-free workplace. Started in 1999 as a non-profit social enterprise of Deaf Initiatives, Inc., the Keepsake team has handcrafted over 10,000 custom t-shirt blankets and quilts, employing 77 people over the years. A testament to the work environment Keepsake has created for a historically unemployed and underemployed population, current social enterprise employees have an average of over 11 years with the team, while a quarter of staff work with Keepsake for over 20 years. The epitome of social enterprise, Keepsake masters a dual purpose: running a successful, strong, and viable business while pursuing the mission of Deaf Initiatives.

For more information visit

Roosevelt coffee and roasters

A cup of coffee to fight the injustices of hunger, dirty water and human trafficking, the impact of Roosevelt Coffeehouse and Roasters is felt around the world. Launched as a cafe in 2015, Roosevelt grew to two standalone stores, plus a licensed location, and began roasting its own beans in 2018 to further support its social enterprise mission of donating profits. Overcoming the challenges of the pandemic that opened up untapped revenue streams for Roosevelt like direct-to-consumer sales of their beans online, the organization collectively donated more than $26,000 that impacted nearly 4,500 people in 2021. Through his donations, Roosevelt has helped cross off non-profit items from wish lists, provide meals and clothing to homeless and low-income people, and support survivors of human trafficking. This support extends to Roosevelt’s supply chain, allowing their producers to partner with organizations that provide grants for small business, education, job training and health care.

For more information, visit and

Zora’s house

The first and only coworking space and leadership incubator in Ohio created by and for women of color, Zora’s House strives to dismantle the barriers of systemic racism and sexism, and ensure the full participation of women of color to the civic, economic and cultural life of Columbus. Built on vacant land in Weinland Park in 2018, Zora’s House has provided a safe space for over 3,000 women of color to incubate their businesses; activate their leadership in their families, communities and workplaces; connect with mental health resources; manage job losses and other transitions related to COVID-19; and gain financial independence and confidence in just four years. Flexible, affordable membership options and hundreds of hours of programming designed to connect, empower and uplift women of color drive Zora’s House.

For more information, visit

Aspire 2022 will be held Thursday, October 20 from 6-9 p.m. at COhatch Polaris, 1554 Polaris Pkwy Suite 325. The evening will include networking and an interview with Sheri Chaney Jones and Charly Bauer of Measurement Resources, as well as the awards ceremony. price. .

For more information and to purchase your ticket for Aspire 2022, click here.

Comments are closed.