Requested Topic: Building Sector Sustainability

  • Alternate funding sources, social entrepreneurship, and enterprise development

We created a Social Enterprise Development Network and you can too: how Twin Cities’ nonprofits are collaborating to develop business leaders and build the social enterprise field.

When the Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities (MACC) wanted to foster social enterprise growth for its nonprofit members, the organization couldn’t find an existing business network that focused on social impact businesses in Minnesota. So, it started one! MACC’s Social Enterprise Network prepares social entrepreneurs for the real world of business, addressing market challenges, business financing, legal structure, concept testing, and more.

Hear MACC’s “tales from the trenches” on business development, as their network of nonprofit members strives to find business opportunities while using each other and community experts to coach and guide the process. This workshop will allow participants to discuss issues and ask questions, so they can use the Social Enterprise Network model to develop social entrepreneurs in their own communities. Learn about the opportunities and challenges that come with working collaboratively on business development and see examples of emerging social enterprises in the Twin Cities.

After an overview and dialogue, participants will have the opportunity to participate in a live Shark Tank experience. A few session participants will volunteer to walk through the social enterprise process, where they will be led through the creation of an immediate idea for a social impact business by MACC’s social enterprise experts. Everyone in the workshop will vote for their favorite ideas, and a winner will be selected. All Shark Tank participants will receive a prize, and everyone will learn about the process of a social entrepreneur.

The Social Enterprise Network is led by Laurel Hansen, a social entrepreneur who built a $9 million social enterprise over 30 years. Don’t miss this glimpse into the workings of a real-world Shark Tank that is creating double and triple-bottom line businesses with Minnesota nonprofits.  

Learning Objectives

  • How to develop leadership skills to create social impact
  • How to build a network in the social enterprise field
  • How to inspire organizations to create business revenue models
  • Strategies for creating collaboration opportunities
  • How to create social enterprise ideas  


  • Laurel Hansen, social enterprise manager, Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities (MACC) (@LaurelAHansen)
  • Randy Treichel, enterprise director, Keystone Community Services

Laurel Hansen
Social Enterprise Manager
Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities (MACC)

Laurel Hansen has more than 30 years’ experience growing business for a social purpose. With a background in business and communications, she has helped nonprofit organizations create winning social enterprises. At the core is a belief in the opportunity for businesses to operate with a greater purpose. Hansen is currently the Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities’ social enterprise manager, fostering business development with MACC’s 47 nonprofit member organizations.

Prior, Hansen was a business director for a large nonprofit organization, where she grew a social enterprise into a $9 million business. As a consultant, she worked with Habitat for Humanity to launch the Twin Cities ReStore and with Tech Dump to launch Tech Discounts, its resale social enterprise.

Businesses under Hansen’s leadership have been recognized with awards from Twin Cities Business Magazine, City Pages, Cities of Richfield, New Hope, St. Paul, and Hennepin County. She is a founding board member of the Social Enterprise Alliance Twin Cities and served on the Richfield Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Laurel attended the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas, where she received a mini-master’s in business.

Randy Treichel
Enterprise Director
Keystone Community Services

Randy is responsible for current enterprise operations, development of new social enterprises and facilitating youth leadership. Over the past 20+years, he has worked with young people to build a chore service for seniors, a chain of concession stands, a bike shop, a skateboard shop, an eBay storefront and, most recently, a gently used women's clothing exchange.
He earned the Certified Entrepreneurship Teach designation with the National Foundation for Teach Entrepreneurship in 2000 and in 2004 completed a Master of Publi Affairs degree through the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.