Brushy Fork Annual Institute

Social Enterprise: Exploring How Mission Meets Market


Track Leader: Paul Wright

Are you looking for ways to sustain your mission? Are you thinking about new revenue opportunities? Do you have a business that is primarily oriented around achieving a social good? Social enterprises operate to achieve a social, economic and/or environmental benefit while tapping into market opportunities that generate meaningful revenue. This track will investigate the power, opportunity and challenges of operating a social enterprise. Together we will explore the potential of social enterprises as powerful movers for Appalachian Transition. This track will present models, explore case studies and provide you an opportunity to apply social enterprise principles to your work. This track will be presented by the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development and Rural Support Partners.

The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) is a 35-year-old non-profit organization promoting sustainable development in eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia. MACED works to create economic opportunity, strengthen democracy and support the sustainable use of natural resources. The organization employs three major strategies toward these goals: providing financial capital and expertise to individuals, businesses and communities; conducting research to support good public policy; and demonstrating effective community economic development efforts that make a difference.

Rural Support Partners is a social enterprise working across the rural Southeast to strengthen anchor organizations, develop collective impact networks, and help move sustainable economic development efforts to scale. They provide a variety of services to help leaders, organizations, and networks achieve better results. Their services are based in a strong commitment to rural communities and result in increased organizational effectiveness, improved strategies, and deepened impact.

Track Capacity: 25


Paul Wright is the Enterprise Development Director of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) based in Berea, Kentucky. MACED creates economic alternatives that work for low-income people and natural places.

Paul directs MACED’s enterprise support and capital programs and serves on the management team. He offers 15 years industry experience, including: community facilities financing, grants management, organizational development and management consulting. Prior to joining MACED in 2011, Paul developed a nationally recognized comprehensive community development initiative in Houston, Texas, ran his own business coaching/consulting franchise and organized various collaborative networks to achieve common goals. He holds a BS in Business Administration from Birmingham-Southern College, an MBA in Community Economic Development from Eastern College, and is an Economic Development Finance Professional certified through the National Development Council.

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