Marion and Greg Werkheiser, founders and operators of the Phoenix Project in VA came to my social entrepreneurship course and talked with us about the role of policy and policy makers in the growth of social entrepreneurship. They are doing amazing work in VA both with communities in need and through training scores of social entrepreneurs at Virginia Colleges and Universities.
In the course of our discussion, we learned that the only state with an office for social enterprising/entrepreneurship is Louisiana. The Louisiana Office of Social Entrepreneurship (LAOSE) is part of the Lt. Governor’s office. According to their site:
The mission of the Louisiana Office of Social Entrepreneurship is to advance social innovation by supporting the creation and growth of the most innovate, measurable and sustainable solutions to the social problems affecting Louisiana’s citizens. LAOSE, in partnership with the public, private, and non-profit sectors, is committed to providing meaningful capacity building around tenets of social entrepreneurship, creating credible portals for financial and in-kind resources, and supporting improvements to public policy that enhance social innovation.