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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

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The business
of social change.

The Opportunity

The 21st century offers new opportunities and resources to tackle our most pressing social problems.

It is now estimated that the United States spends 20% of our GDP (approximately $17.5 trillion in 2014) on social issues. Innovative business models, evolving public policy, and an expanding pool of capital have created a dynamic, fluid environment. Traditional silos— whether government, nonprofit, or for-profit— are being broken down and cross-sector collaborations are the way forward.

Consider these trends:

Government contracting and outsourcing have become easier and more flexible in an effort to attract for-profit and nonprofit partners. But expectations have changed too. Payment is now increasingly linked to outcomes and strenuous compliance requirements.

A substantially more diverse and growing amount of for-profit and philanthropic resources is available for investment in promising social enterprises that provide market solutions. Private “impact capital” is a new game changer.

A growing number of nonprofits are better positioned than they have every been to scale their services and substantially increase their impact. Many are commercializing aspects of their business models and creating for-profit subsidiaries that can enable their mission-driven organizations to sustain themselves, scale up and think differently about how they maximize their impact.

Highly influential and successful financial institutions, such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, and respected philanthropic grant makers are investing in pay-for-success financing deals. They are providing capital to the most effective and results-driven social enterprises, with an emphasis on those that deliver the one-two punch of social and economic gains and financial returns.

In the last decade, a new business entity known as the “Benefit Corporation” has been created in 28 states. Its legally defined goal embraces both profit and societal impact. More than 1,000 “B Corps” now exist.

The 21c Approach

21c was founded in 2014 to help companies, investors and nonprofits take advantage of important private and public trends.

Our network offers a wealth of knowledge and perspective based on its own direct involvement creating and scaling high-impact social enterprises and influencing the broader public and advocacy environments, with a focus on:

  1. Developing sustainable, market-based business models that attract earned revenue and commercialize opportunities where appropriate;
  2. Understanding, navigating, and influencing the broader public and advocacy environments; and
  3. Attracting necessary growth capital to build organizations and capitalize on market opportunities.

Simply put, 21c acts as architect and general contractor, collaborating with clients on every phase of the process—from design to recruitment of talent and resources to implementation. Our focus is outcomes. Our expertise and networks ensure success.

The 21c Client

The 21c client is a change agent.

The 21c client is an executive or investor from for-profit and nonprofit enterprises seeking to both scale their business models and transform the sectors in which they operate. Our clients pursue multiple revenue sources as tools for strengthening financial positions and maintaining the viability of mission, including earned revenue and the commercialization of certain nonprofit functions.

Specific client needs vary based on mission and organizational maturity:

  • A young enterprise may require assistance with a business plan to ensure the right early moves to attract talent and capital. That could include developing a mission and profile, or achieving initial growth metrics.
  • Other enterprises are seeking to refine what they’ve already developed. Or they want to have an impact in the public sphere.
  • Some clients require attention and support during a moment of specific and threatening internal or external developments.
  • And finally, a select group of investors are looking to use their for-profit and philanthropic capital for financial returns and social impact.
  • 21c assists these players in finding and evaluating opportunities, overseeing their strategies, and helping them achieve their investment objectives.

Contact us

Start a Conversation

Interested in connecting? You can also learn more about our Founder, Tripp Jones.