America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs: 2011 Winners

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 19, 2011

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Businessweek.com readers voted a San Francisco print shop that hires recovering addicts and ex-offenders their top choice for America’s most promising social enterprise.

The company, Social Imprints, garnered 15.7 percent of the nearly 3,000 votes readers cast since we published profiles of 25 finalists in June. Co-founded by Jeff Sheinbein and Kevin McCracken, who overcame heroin and alcohol addiction himself, the 3-year-old company employs seven people and had $2 million in revenue last year.

Dalberg, a New York-based consultant focused on international social and environmental problems, came in second with 15.4 percent of readers’ votes. Founded by veterans of McKinsey in 2001, Dalberg has sales above $15 million and 120 employees in 10 global offices.

Close behind was Intuary, the maker of an iPad app that helps people who can’t speak communicate, with 15.3 percent of readers’ votes. The 5-employee startup is launched the app, called Verbally, in March and is projecting sales of $200,000 this year.

Nest Collective, which sells healthy children’s food under the Plum Organics baby food brand and Revolution Foods lunchbox snacks, got 8.5 percent of readers’ votes. The 26-employee company, founded in 2007, had $15 million in revenue last year.

StayClassy, an online fundraising platform for small nonprofits, received 6.2 percent of readers’ votes. The 6-year-old company had $250,000 in revenue last year and has helped 2,000 nonprofits raise more than $5 million.

For at look at these and 20 other promising social enterprises, flip through this slide show.

Reader Comments

Joanna Riedl

July 19, 2011 6:08 PM

Glad to see Social Imprints at the top of this list! They are a great organization with a fierce mission.

Fran Sheinbein

July 19, 2011 6:28 PM

Jeff is my son who had to move heaven and earth to put Social Imprints on the map. His dedication and compassion in this company has been unwavering. Congrat to Jeff and Kevin!

George Beinhorn

July 19, 2011 8:15 PM

I've worked with Jeff as an outside contractor/consultant and felt deeply honored to do so. His mission is inspiring and the quality of his work is unparalleled. A well-deserved honor!

Michelle Ticknor

July 19, 2011 10:04 PM

Massive congratulations to a start-up whose products are as fantastic as its mission.

Geri Stengel

July 21, 2011 9:10 PM

A well-deserved honor I’d say. From its profile, the company seems to solve a social problem by being very aware of the fact that they need to run a good business. But it looks like the competition was tough! Some very good ideas there. Thanks for bringing them to our attention.

Janet M Morgan

July 25, 2011 6:20 PM

Congrats to all the winners - wonderful to see such great missions matched to helpful products and services - watch the slide show! Jan Morgan President, CSRwire

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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