SVP Miami is a vehicle to transform the way Miami gives and invests, the way we do business and nonprofit work.Lauren Harper
Last year Lauren Harper was featured among 30 changemakers in our “Miami Girls Inspiring Leadership” campaign. UM School of Law alumna Harper left the legal profession five years ago to focus on cultivating the ecosystem for Miami’s social innovators. This year she is launching Miami chapter of Social Venture Partners (SVP) with the dual mission of strengthening and scaling social ventures, and creating a community of engaged philanthropists and impact investors.
With 3,500 members in 40 cities around the world, SVP is a global network of corporate execs, community leaders, philanthropists and investors working on solving today’s biggest problems, such as poverty, climate change and access to equal education.
SVP believes money alone cannot fix these problems and takes an approach that goes beyond philanthropy. Instead of just writing checks, SVP partners identify social ventures with great growth potential and help them make an even greater impact. The partners aim to amplify the value of every dollar invested into the community through direct involvement by donating their time and skills. They use an approach that’s very similar to a venture capitalist model, but with social returns as the goal. With SVP’s assistance, many of the ventures served will be ready to receive impact investment dollars so they can grow even more.
In preparation for its official launch in March 2017, SVP Miami invited local philanthropic, social enterprise, business and community leaders for a special gathering to learn more about SVP’s global network and approach. Harper and Founding SVP Miami Partners took the stage to talk about the SVP model, success stories from the global network and the Miami vision. A highlight was hearing from national guest, Paul Kohlheim, one of the Founding Partners of SVP Charleston about the impact SVP Charleston has made in their local community. Kohlheim shared the story about his involvement as a lead partner with Reading Partners South Carolina (Reading Partners). As a result of SVP Charleston’s assistance, Reading Partners expanded its literacy program from 3 schools in 2011 to 8 schools in 2013, tripled the number of students in the program from 100 to 300, and increased volunteer involvement from 200 to 600. Currently, SVP Charleston is assisting Reading Partners to develop a scalable funding model and a robust marketing plan.
When asked about her vision for SVP Miami, Harper said, “SVP Miami is a vehicle to transform the way Miami gives and invests, the way we do business and nonprofit work. Our traditional ways of doing things have only taken us so far, and innovative, proven models like SVP will be a launchpad to unleash the social change potential of our people, organizations and community.”
The event took place at the recently opened Cambridge Innovation Center – Miami (CIC Miami), a hub for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship and concluded with networking and libations at Venture Café’s Thursday night gathering.
Money alone cannot fix the world’s biggest problems. We go beyond philanthropy.Social venture Partners
Javier Alberto Soto (CEO of The Miami Foundation), Lauren Harper (Founding Director of SVP Miami) and Victoria Fear (Program s Officer, Miami Foundation)
Maureen M. O’Brien (Senior Vice President for Development at New World Symphony) and Suki Benn (Sustainability Professional)
Susan Perry (Founding CEO of SpeechMED), Richard Schuchts (Senior Managing Director at Savills Studley) and Meryl Spigelman (First Vice President, UBS)
Nelly Farra (MBAF) and Lorenzo Moll (Managing Partner, KYMP Law)
Jane Gilbert (City of Miami Chief Resilience Officer) and Shekeria Brown (Executive Director, South Florida Community Development Coalition)
Marsha Soffer (Turnberry) and Jack Karson (Founding President, South Beach Veterinary Solutions)
Rahnuma Ahsan (Professor, Miami Dade College), Maria Silva and Carolina Pina (Founder & CEO of Ignitus)
Fred Tan (BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Founding Partner SVP Miami)
Sean Kramer (Jones Lowery), Diane Davis (Vice President, Merrill Lynch), Maxeme Tuchman (CEO, Caribu), Javier Alberto Soto (CEO of The Miami Foundation)
Melissa Dynan (Dynan Consulting) and Valeria Perez Ferreiro (Community Development Officer, Citi)
Jeff Hawley (Miami-Dade County) and Fred Stock (President & CEO of Jewish Community Services of South Florida, Founding Partner of SVP Miami)
Tomas Loewy (Founding CEO cool.pool.media)
Aliette Carolan (Founder & Managing Partner of Aliette Carolan, P.A.) and Lauren Harper (Founding Director of SVP Miami)
Stas Gayshan (Managing Director of CIC Miami) and Chris Adamo (Director of Business Development, Whereby.us)
Dan Wall (Miami-Dade County), Pat Morris (Wells Fargo), Abbey Chase (CEO, Chase Marketing Group)
Stephanie Sylvestre (CPO & COO,The Children’s Trust), Diane Davis (Vice President, Merrill Lynch)
Joelle Allen (Director of Peacock Foundation), Maxeme Tuchman (CEO of Caribu), Stephanie Sylvestre (CPO & COO, The Children’s Trust)