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Social Business Involves Integrative Leadership

What do Ben Franklin, Jeff Ochs, and the Center for Integrative Leadership have in common? All are recognized practitioners of leadership across business, government, and civil society sectors in pursuit of the common good.

Ochs, who is finishing an MBA from Carlson and an MPP from Humphrey this spring, has been promoting the emerging concepts of "social business" and "impact investing" in Minnesota for the past year. Social businesses are special "double-bottom-line" hybrid entities that have an official social purpose, like a nonprofit, but owners who can profit, like a business. Impact investors are those individuals and institutions that provide capital to social businesses with the expectation of both a financial and social return.

Recently, Ochs and a colleague published a provocative and well-circulated white paper on social business. This week, the Star Tribune published an article that Ochs co-authored on Public Benefit Corporations, which is a new corporate form that facilitates social business. Ochs also launched his own social business, Cornerstone Stories, in November.

When asked to reflect on his three years of active engagement in CIL, Ochs commented, "It's not at all uncommon for people to be involved in politics, business, and philanthropy at some point in their lives. What's really special though is when someone can integrate the best aspects of all three worlds at one time to tackle a major world problem. We need more of that."

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