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Investing in Social Enterprise

Monday, September 29, 2014
9:30am - 11:30am PDT
Center for Healthy Communities
1000 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
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Join us for an interactive funder workshop introducing the concept of employment social enterprise, conducted by REDF.

We'll explore why social enterprises need investment, how you might fit social enterprise into your giving strategy, and how to start evaluating these opportunities for investment. In addition to sharing frameworks and case studies, expert speakers will share the perspectives of both funders and social enterprises: 

  • Karen Chern, Portfolio Manager, REDF (Session Presenter)
  • Joanna Jackson, Director, Grant Operations, Weingart Foundation 
  • Mark Wilson, Executive Director, Coalition for Responsible Community Development

Join us to learn more about what social enterprise is and how to invest in it:

  • Explore frameworks for assessing social enterprise for investment
  • Learn why social enterprises focusing on employment need specific investment
  • Find out how your foundation could fit employment social enterprise into your giving portfolio
  • Hear the perspectives of a funder and a social enterprise on their recent work

We hope to see you at this fascinating event.


Karen Chern
Portfolio Manager, REDF

Karen Chern is a Portfolio Manager at REDF (, currently based in Los Angeles. Prior to joining REDF full time, she was both a Farber Fellow (a post-graduate fellowship) and an intern while earning her MBA at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. While at Ross, she led the Social Venture Fund, a fully operational impact investing fund run by students. Prior to business school, Karen worked at Enrich Consulting, Inc, building analytics tools and consulting for life science and high tech companies. In the past, she has also been involved in Silicon Valley Social Venture and served on the Board of Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen in San Jose.

Joanna Jackson
Director, Grants Operations at Weingart Foundation

As Director, Grant Operations, Joanna is responsible for the day-to-day management of Weingart Foundation’s responsive grantmaking program and staff. Since joining the Foundation in 2008, Joanna has held the position of Program Associate, Program Director, and, most recently, Director of Special Projects. Prior to joining the Foundation, she accumulated more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit, philanthropic and public sectors, most recently serving at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Joanna holds a master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College, The City University of New York, where she was a National Urban Fellow, and received her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mark Wilson
Executive Director, Coalition for Responsible Community Development

A native of South Los Angeles, Mark Anthony Wilson, Jr. attended primary, secondary, and postsecondary schools locally. At a very young age he was tapped to be the Director of the Youth Empowerment Project, an organization under the structure of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference/ Martin Luther King Legacy Association. He designed programs and curriculum for local youth and participated in advocacy campaigns that increased opportunities for adolescents. He moved on to become the Director of Community Development with the Dunbar Economic Development Corporation. Wilson started a new department and raised more than $1million in operating income annually to implement innovative programs that impacted the lives of youth that reside in the Vernon Central community of South Los Angeles.

About REDF
Since 1997, REDF, a California-based nonprofit, has led the pioneering effort to create jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work—like young people who’ve dropped out of school, people who’ve been in prison or homeless, and those who live with mental health disabilities.  REDF believes the opportunity to work should be available to everyone, everywhere. REDF knows the power jobs can have in transforming lives and communities.

SCG members: register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register online).
Eligible non-members: If you already have an SCG account, log in to register. If you do not have an account yet, contact [email protected].

SCG members: no cost to attend
Eligible non-members: $100

Who May Attend:
Open to grantmakers interested in learning more about social enterprise.

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