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Social Enterprise Innovators


Presented by: John Moore, ImpactPHL

1st Place: Dr. Leslie Grace, Elements of Community, Inc. Elements of Community introduces and reinforces basic skills to integrate into the learning of finance, business and entrepreneurship to increase financial capabilities. Dr. Grace invests in startup companies launched by inner-city children and their families to change habits and patterns. She is committed to helping children and their families become lifelong learners, socially responsible, self-sufficient, productive, financially free citizens of their community.

In Dr. Grace’s words, “I accept this award on behalf of the children in Philadelphia, especially since we are the blueprint for America. This award represents the promise to continue developing, harnessing and evolving the innovative ideas of children and their families who will help change the financial fabric of their communities.”

2nd Place: Rashaad Lambert, Sporty Marketing Group/Lambert Legacy Charities. Rashaad teaches entrepreneurship to GED students in 5 schools. He has opened a sustainable community farm in addition to running a Six Sigma digital marketing firm which employs ex-offenders reentering society. He has been socially innovating since 2009 and has consistently been a change agent.

Rashaad expresses, “Being considered for this award is a great privilege as often the work of those who live a life of toil goes unnoticed. I am honored to receive this nomination and recognition as a representative of my team, without whom I would accomplish nothing.”

3rd Place: BRIC librarians represented by Rebekah Ray. The Free Library of Philadelphia, Business Resource & Innovation Center (BRIC) curates information for and fosters the growth of new social enterprises and nonprofits. The BRIC librarians are venturing beyond traditional "librarian" services to provide valuable and innovative services to Philadelphia's entrepreneurial community city-wide. These librarians are changing the library's image and reputation by piloting an innovative program that uniquely and equitably serves Philadelphia's entrepreneurial community.

Rebekah notes that, “Receiving the Social Innovations Award demonstrates that an organization can bring a long history of service and innovation into the present moment successfully. The people of Philadelphia saw the value of a Free Public Library over a century ago, and through good times and bad supported the Free Library of Philadelphia so that we could be here tonight highlighting curated resources and dedicated, high quality staff to benefit all of the businesses, nonprofits, inventors and innovators in our city and region.”


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