Social Enterprises

Mission driven businesses and the entire social impact economy are vital to promoting strong New York City communities and lasting economic growth.

With its unparalleled concentration of community development activity, nonprofits, philanthropy, capital, and large markets, New York City is the ideal environment for social entrepreneurship and innovation to take root and thrive.

Social Capital Desk

New York City’s Social Capital Desk was created in late 2014 to create and amplify innovative economic growth approaches that result in strong communities and shared and just prosperity.

Vision: New York City is the leading Impact City where social entrepreneurs, mission-driven businesses, and communities become core engines and assets of an economy that works for all.

Mission: Grow and strengthen the impact ecosystem in New York City for long-term economic growth and stronger communities.

  • Cultivate the conditions for mission-driven businesses to thrive. 
  • Enable the broader business community to integrate financial objectives with social and environmental ones. 
  • Recommend regulatory and policy framework to accelerate social impact entrepreneurship and investing.  

Opportunity Audiences: Insight Experts, Nonprofits, Social Enterprises, Social Entrepreneurs, Financial Institutions and Impact Investors, Philanthropy, Socially-Minded Real Estate Developers, and Policy Experts.

Contact Us

How can we amplify your impact? It is an exciting time to be working at the intersection of economic and social impact in New York City. Email the Social Capital Desk to share your insights and organizational challenges, locally or globally.

If you are interested to work with us, please consult current job openings at NYCEDC by clicking here

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Program Focus

With public and private partners, we design and operate programs that advance the Social Capital Desk’s objectives. Current programmatic priorities based on extended stakeholder engagement and literature review include:

  1. Real estate needs and shared space models for mission-driven companies for increased access to affordable physical space, shared resources, and social networks
  2. Financial sustainability and growth for mission-driven businesses, not or for-profit, including building financial capacity and preparing for new capital streams
  3. Impact investing: Support industry growth and innovation to unlock capital that intentionally generates both financial and social returns 
  4. Ecosystem growth: facilitate connections and mechanisms to facilitate knowledge-sharing, networking and scaling of successful efforts
  5. Crafting appropriate regulatory and policy framework to accelerate social impact entrepreneurship and investing

Social Capital Approach

At the core of our strategy is bringing together what we call the “3 C’s” —Community, Capability, and Capital—to support ecosystems that are good for people and business.

The team utilizes roundtable discussions, focus groups, interviews, surveys, studies and other insight analytics methods to inform the development of short, mid, and long-term initiatives that represent a gap in the private market or areas in which NYCEDC can accelerate sector growth.

NYCEDC Resources for Nonprofits

NYCEDC offers a variety of financing products and capacity building services for real estate and capital projects. For additional resources from the City of New York, please visit the NYC Nonprofit Assistance page

Impact Ecosystem Snapshot

A new transformative economy is emerging: the impact economy characterized by the emergence of organizations and disruptive practices through which social and financial goals converge and the traditional functions of capital and social activism break out of their silos. Blended value approaches deliver solutions to a broad array of socioeconomic challenges and result in just and shared prosperity.

Nonprofit Snapshot:

  • 35,000+ nonprofits in NYC
  • $33.6 billion in payroll
  • 600,000+ jobs
  • 18% of the City’s total private workforce
  • 97,000 jobs added from 2000-2013, growing faster than the private sector overall

Impact Investing Snapshot:

  • U.S. $25 billion market size estimate (2013)
  • Projected estimate for 2020: U.S. $400 billion – 1 trillion (J.P. Morgan/Rockefeller Foundation)


  • Social Enterprises

    Innovate NYC

    Last Updated

    Innovate NYC is a social entrepreneurship program that brings together twenty students from across 10 institutions of higher-education in New York City to co-create a solution that addresses a challenge offered by City government.

News & Updates


    Announcing Innovate NYC: The Shared Resource Challenge

     |  NYCEDC
    On December 7, 20 student social entrepreneurs, selected from across 10 institutions of higher-education in New York City, were announced as the first cohort for a new landmark program called Innovate NYC.

    3 Ways To Build an Inclusive, Equitable Model of Economic Opportunity

     |  NYCEDC
    On September 16, NYCEDC's Social Capital Desk and Chief Diversity Officer Valerie Kennedy hosted Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, for a discussion on innovative urban practices as part of our Policy to Practice Speaker Series.

    NYCEDC's Social Capital Desk Invests In Change

     |  NYCEDC
    NYCEDC joined over 100 attendees at Investing in Change, an event showcasing businesses that are growing our economy while also solving our city’s problems. At the nexus of this event was a shared goal: to blend mission and market, while solving problems sustainably through business. NYCEDC's new social capital desk recaps the event.

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Contact Info

Social Capital Desk, Center for Economic Transformation

Eleni D. Janis, Vice President & Director