The concept of social enterprises – businesses and organizations that focus both on making a profit and a positive impact on people – isn’t new.

A well-known example is Goodwill Industries International, which pioneered offering “a hand up, not a handout” in 1902.

What’s new is the explosive growth of such operations, especially in central Ohio.

When SocialVentures, a company that helps develop and fund businesses that try to solve social problems, was formed in 2014, only 18 social enterprises could be identified in the region, said marketing director Sara Parker.

About four years later, she said, central Ohio has more than 100 social enterprises.

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