YorIt received so many great ideas for its 2013 Social Venture Challenge that the growing organization of young philanthropists decided to select two organizations to receive funding totaling $26,500. A Social Venture Challenge grant of $20,000 was awarded to CoWork 155, a co-working office site and community gathering place in the heart of downtown York that will incubate businesses and host programs and special events. YorIt members also awarded $6,500 to YorShoppes to create pop-up retail space, housing multiple retailers under one roof to create a unique shopping experience downtown. This year’s Social Venture Challenge asked applicants to invigorate downtown York with innovative, exciting and high-impact projects.
The funding for CoWork 155 coincides with the organization’s grand opening celebration on Friday, June 7, from 4-7 pm at 155 West Market Street. CoWork 155 will use the award to build a community of entrepreneurs, telecommuters, and creatives by giving them a physical space that fosters collaboration. CoWork 155 will be a membership-based organization for the physical space, as well as a space that can be rented for community events and meetings.
In addition to CoWork 155’s efforts, the pop-up retail shops idea from YorShoppes fit the Challenge extremely well. Not only will this project help entrepreneurs expand, test or launch new ideas or products, but will help landlords market their space, as well as adding excitement for consumers to the downtown experience. “Pop-up shops can bring businesses and consumers to downtown helping the economic environment on many different levels,” says Angela Lauer, Development Officer at York County Community Foundation and staff support for the YorIt initiative.
YorIt is a local group aimed at developing leaders of philanthropy who invest their combined giving in social venture projects to foster growth and progress in York County. Member contributions go to immediate grantmaking as well as to build endowment for future Social Venture giving. Group members seek out creative solutions and out-of-the-box ideas that have the potential to be game-changers. Members invest in initiatives that create a “blended value” of economic, social and environmental benefits to our community. They take risks and fund passionate people with great ideas. Visit YorIt online at www.YorIt.org.</di