Most Americans remember tuning into the news this morning four years ago to find a beloved American city half immersed in water after Hurricane Katrina’s Category 3-fueled storm surge broke New Orleans fragile levees. Katrina wrought more than $80 billion in destruction, but the worst damage might have been inflicted on a beleaguered President George W. Bush, who saw many supporters turn sour as the death toll climbed (eventually settling at 1,836, with more than 700 unaccounted for). But while it has taken time, New Orleans is on the rebound.
These ten organizations comprise our honor roll of 2009 Social Enterprises of the Year. Will all of these ideas work in the long run and on a grand scale? Perhaps not. But they represent the kind of innovative thinking that can transform lives and change our world.
We have found them: Nine bold and timely ideas that wow us — and that have earned these organizations a place alongside Enterprise Community Partners on our honor roll of 2009 Social Enterprises of the Year.