We’ll visit some of the leading social enterprises, highlighting their definition of success and the impacts they aim to achieve. We’ll discuss what social entrepreneurship is, and how “social” entrepreneurs differ from other entrepreneurs? We’ll visit both promising start-ups and well-established businesses, hearing stories from the experts about how they got started, and how they came to achieve success.
Possible Experience Stops in Oakland Include:
Beneficial State Bank
Beneficial State Bank grew from the vision of Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor and the team they formed to create a triple bottom-line bank and a supportive nonprofit foundation of the same name. In 2007, that vision was realized when OneCalifornia Bank and OneCalifornia Foundation opened in Oakland. Fashioned in the image of the great socially responsible banks and credit unions of national and international fame, the Bank is mandated to produce meaningful social justice and environmental benefits at the same time that it is financially sustainable. The Foundation owns all of the economic rights of the Bank — when profits of the Bank are distributed, they can only be distributed to the Foundation which is mandated to reinvest those proceeds back into the communities and the environment on which we all depend.
The HIVE is a blend of new and old in it’s historic industrial space. The brick and timber buildings have a timeless appeal while modern and sustainable building practices bring the style into aesthetic and ecological balance. Comprised of seven retail storefronts, eight multi use office spaces, 8 converted lofts and 96 walk up apartments, this mixed-use development is a platform for enhancing local culture and strengthening community.
Impact Hub Oakland
A dynamic shared co-working space that is on the cutting edge of social entrepreneurship and innovation. It is a meeting place for entrepreneurs who can rent a desk to set up a small office, share an idea for a venture, and network with people of common interest. Meet one of the social entrepreneurs at the HUB and learn about one of the youth entrepreneur programs. Check out Red Bay Coffee next door which is a great example of local economic development through innovative Oakland economic development programs like Fund Good Jobs, Inner City Advisors. Located in repurposed shipping container!
Kaiser Rooftop Garden
The Kaiser Center was the headquarters of Kaiser Industries that was headed by industrialist Henry Kaiser, the American industrialist who became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding. He established the Kaiser Shipyards, which built Liberty ships during World War II, after which he formed Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Steel. We’ll visit a historical display one of the first roof gardens built in the United States. Located by the iconic 28 story office building adjacent to Lake Merritt, Henry Kaiser commissioned the architecturally significant rooftop garden after the building had been designed, inspired by the gardens of Rockefeller Center in N.Y.
Whether you crave quiet or thrive on creative, collaborative energy, want historic brick and beam or modern office elegance, the Port Workspaces offers four convenient locations, each with their own distinct character, in three great Oakland neighborhoods.
Port Kitchens is a commercial kitchen in Oakland, but we offer much more than a place to cook. Their members get support in building their small food businesses from the floor up. They provide them with the resources they need to grow and connect them with other food professionals. They support an environment of education to expand skills and to encourage creative collaboration. Their goal is the success of our members and creating a community around local food.
The Town Kitchen
Town Kitchen’s vision is to create community through local food; a community where low-income Oakland youth can shine, a community where they will introduce under-served youth to talented chefs.
Founded by brother and sister Ahmed and Reem Rahim in 1999 in a tiny 750 sq/ft apt in Oakland, CA Numi Organic Tea blends premium organic teas and herbs with only 100 percent real ingredients, allowing nature to speak for itself. Inspired by art and exotic teas, they created a company whose hallmark is premium, organic, and Fair Trade Certified teas. Give employees four paid hours each month to volunteer for a non-profit in one of four areas: the environment, food (such as promoting organics), social services, and education. Additionally, they plan a half day each quarter where everyone takes part in an activity to benefit a local non-profit.
Kapor Center & Rooftop Garden
The Kapor Center was founded by Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein and is home to our three entities: Kapor Capital, the Kapor Center for Social Impact, and the Level Playing Field Institute. Mitch Kapor is an American entrepreneur best known for promoting the first spreadsheet, founding Lotus and co-founding the Electronic Frontier Foundation. As Partner at Kapor Capital and the Kapor Center for Social Impact, Mitch, along with his wife Freada Kapor Klein, invests in social impact tech start-ups that seek to narrow gaps in opportunity and access for underrepresented communities and attempt to eliminate barriers to full participation across the tech ecosystem. The Center is also an inclusive convening space, a destination for robust conversations and action around tech, diversity and inclusion, and social impact. To that end, we are excited about working with other organizations and companies to co-host effective and compelling events.
Top Leaf Farm
This enterprise provides design and consultation services for living roofs on residential and commercial projects. They can also build and install planter beds and provide the crops to grow. Full management and operational oversight of the systems are offered as well. Their designs work with an innovative approach to growing on a roof. These rooftop and modular systems can be employed on roofs, boxes or stand alone planters. They love working with architects and other design teams to deliver the specific needs of a living roof and highly productive farm.
Lunch Stops May Include:
Meet with a community member and experience Agave Farm Fresh Oaxacan Mexican Restaurant. This destination is in Uptown Oakland’s Kapor Center for Social Impact. The spacious, ground-floor spot goes chic with natural wood, banquettes covered in festive fabrics and murals inspired by Oaxacan culture
Lake Chalet Waterfront Restaurant
Transforming Lake Merritt’s formerly dilapidated municipal building, this waterfront, 425-seat seafood behemoth offers oysters, calamari, and other oceanic bites, with a stunning view of the lake. Depending on mood and weather, diners can choose between a fireplace setting inside the grand, white tableclothed dining room, or a dock patio open year-round, located just a few breezy steps from the water.