Benefit Chicago Highlights Diverse Social Enterprise Success Models


The Monroe Foundation “Benefit Chicago” Convening with the CEO’s of the Chicago Community Trust and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Highlights  Diverse Social Enterprise Success Models


The Monroe Foundation CEO Otis C Monroe III (middle) and Paul A. Labonne, Board Chairman and PNC Community Consultant (right) hold the P.A.C.T. Project sign with Julia Stasch, President of the MacArthur Foundation. Others pictured include: (left) Dr. Leon Finney, Jr., CEO, Woodlawn Community Development Corporation, Eva Brown, Community Development Manager, US Bank, Thurman “Tony” Smith, Market Manager, PNC Bank, (Right) Manny Jimenez, Vice President & CRA Officer, Marquette Bank and Brenda Palms-Barber, Executive Director, North Lawndale Employment Network/Sweet Beginings, LLC.

On Monday May 23rd, twenty-five community development and social enterprise “thought-leaders” convened at Marquette Bank in Chicago’s West Englewood community to engage Terry Mazany, CEO of the Chicago Community Trust and Julia Stasch, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in a dialogue about “Benefit Chicago”, a new collaboration of the two phihatheopic institutions.

Benefit Chicago is a 100 million dollar commitment to invest in social enterprise that  develop new revenue platforms to support the social-impact work of nonprofit organizations such as Sweet Beginings,LLC launched out of the nonprofit the North Lawndale Employment Network, and Oprima-1, a call-center launched out of PODER, a Latino-led nonprofit and social enterprise.

Both social enterprises provide presentations at the convening on their socially-driven impact work that creates jobs and promotes economic sufficiency, and how a capital infusion of investment from Benefit Chicago can help sustain and expand their work and impact.

Terry Mazany, President of the Chicago Community Trust, stated, “We are grateful (to the P.A.C.T. Project of the Monroe Foundation) for the opportunity to have had this conversation about Benefit Chicago. It is abundantly clear that the program will add value to the region’s social ecosystem. Benefit Chicago is already spurring a critical dialogue on social enterprises and sparking broad interest in the category. To this end, the Trust is committed to providing a myriad of learning opportunities-for the novice and the experienced in our community.”  Paul A. Labonne, Community Consultant for PNC Bank and Chairman of the Board of the Monroe Foundation, added, “Today’s convening provided emerging and experienced social enterprise leaders with a connectivity to Benefit Chicago, early, so that transformative concepts that can result in economic –social change, can potentially become invested.”.

The P.A.C.T. Project (Partnership Assisting Community Transformation) is a community and economic issues coalition of the Monroe Foundation funded by a grant from the Field Foundation of Illinois.