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Business Expertise Lends a Hand to Social Enterprise

Social enterprise noun: using business tools to address a social need (Conscious Company).

The San Diego nonprofit Rise Up Industries (RUI) proudly assists previously incarcerated, formerly gang-involved individuals to successfully reenter society, reducing the gang population and recidivism rate. Central to RUI’s Reentry Program is The Machine Shop Social Enterprise that prepares members for careers as CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine operators. The 18-month intensive job training program is accompanied by a healing component that includes counseling and case management for program members. Revenue from The Machine Shop helps to offset program costs and is a key funding source for the organization.


When SVP Partners first embarked on its Spark Team engagement with Rise Up Industries, they were impressed. A nonprofit providing a vital resource to some of the most marginalized members of the community, and they had an earned revenue source! Lead Partner Tom Watlington, a former executive with 36 years in the medical device industry, and Partner Robert Hill, recently retired from Deloitte Consulting, began to work with RUI’s leadership to help the nonprofit to plan for its anticipated program growth.


Along the way, they asked hard questions,

hoping to gain a better understanding of the business operations behind Rise Up Industries’ Machine Shop Social Enterprise. Through financial analysis and forecast modeling, the Spark Team was able to offer operational and strategic advice that would assist the nonprofit in increasing its earned revenue streams. Taking full advantage of its social enterprise model means Rise Up can cover a greater percentage of the costs of its Reentry Program, reducing dependence on individual giving and grants, and laying a solid foundation for future growth!



Do you have business expertise that you’re willing to share to help take a nonprofit to the next level? Unleash your potential and learn more about the SVP Partner role today!


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