Growing ‘One of the Most Important Social Movements of the 21st Century’


Note: In honor of Social Venture Network’s 25-year anniversary, the network is inducting 25 of its most innovative and influential leaders into its hall of fame Nov. 13 at Gotham Hall in New York City. To recognize these sustainable business pioneers, SVN’s news program, ‘Sustainable Solutions,’ is interviewing the hall-of-famers to celebrate their accomplishments and learn what more needs to be done. Read the whole series here.

The growth and momentum of social entrepreneurship, fueled by a generation of young leaders eager to mix business with social impact on the global stage, is a great source of excitement for Echoing Green president Cheryl Dorsey.

For the past quarter-century, the organization has been the proud source of seed investment for more than 500 social entrepreneurs who view business as a tool for world benefit.

In the past two years, the number of young people applying for fellowships has jumped by 160 percent.

“I’ve been around long enough to watch social entrepreneurship grow from being a nascent field to what I think is arguably one of the most important social movements of the 21st century,” Cheryl says.

“The involvement and interest of the millennial generation in particular that has really fueled the explosive growth of social entrepreneurship on campuses across the country and in communities around the world has been really exciting to see.”

She was one of those early leaders from a different generation when she was awarded an Echoing Green fellowship in 1992 to create The Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit in Boston.

She was a young doctor who found that though medicine was a noble profession, her calling lay within the scope of social entrepreneurship, and she’s been connected to Echoing Green in one way or another ever since, taking on the role of president in 2002.

Cheryl was recently named one of Social Venture Network’s (SVN) Hall of Fame Impact Award winners as a Visionary Social Entrepreneur for her work as a pioneer in the field.

She’s careful to point out the honor is in fact a testament to Echoing Green as the angel investment organization that has brought clarity to the concept of social entrepreneurship as a viable option in business, helping keep the momentum strong.

The Hall of Fame award, she says, “is a wonderful tribute to Echoing Green and that community of which I am a part.

“It’s a real honor for us to be recognized for the role that Echoing Green played to help build the field of social entrepreneurship. It’s an organization I’m so proud to be a part of and so to get this honor is a really big deal for us.”

Echoing Green, SVN and all members, fellows, eager supporters and partners are part of what Cheryl describes as a larger ecosystem, one that is alive and growing, ready to meet the challenges of the world around us.

Click here for more information on the SVN Hall of Fame awards celebration, to be held in New York on Nov 13, 2012.

This article written by is part of a Social Venture Network series featuring its Hall of Fame honorees.



Abbe A.
Azaima A6 years ago


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V6 years ago


Carole R.
Carole R6 years ago


Dennis Deal
Past Member 6 years ago

Maybe Elaine A. However your sentiment has been shared by people that saw no practical use for the light bulb.. The European Aristocracy viewed the American War of Independence as being something that was doomed to failure. And here we are.. Over 200 years later. With the lights on since 1879. You are only limited by your imagination. Will this work.. Personally, I am going to bet that it will.

Debbie L.
Debbie L6 years ago


Jane Warren
Jane W6 years ago

thnx for this

Danuta Watola
Danuta W6 years ago

Thanks for the article!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago


Patricia Garcia Ces
Patricia C6 years ago

Great post!!

Elaine A.
Elaine A6 years ago

In My humble opinion, this going green is headed for going right out the window as there are to many idiosyncrasy's involved, to numerous to mention. I shall list the bottom line and that is this whole venue is outrageously expensive!