Issue Date: 
October 15, 2007

University of Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs’ Society hosted Gerald Driggs (below left) and Al Mercer of Social Innovation Accelerator (SIA) on Sept. 12 for a discussion of “social enterprise ventures”—businesses that nonprofit organizations run to generate revenue and provide community services. A private foundation based on Pittsburgh’s South Side, SIA provides educational support to nonprofit organizations to launch “social enterprise ventures” of their own. Driggs, an information technology specialist with more than 25 years’ experience in business, serves as chief executive officer of SIA, while Mercer, who has managed start-up companies in health care and high technology, serves as senior adviser. Students, faculty, and staff attended the discussion, held at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association in Oakland. Underwriting was provided by the CL Fund, the Heinz Endowments, PNC Bank, and the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers.