Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Good Capitalist Party

South by Southwest (SxSW), the annual social media and cause festival that brings thousands to Austin, Texas, each spring, is offering something new this year for social entrepreneurs and other social innovators: The Good Capitalist Party. It's a bottom-up event organized by Justmeans reader and social entrepreneur Martin Montero that's gone viral in the past week or two among those SxSWers looking to party and network around making business better.

The event was originally to have been just another networking event at the festival, which is hosting more than 200 such side events this year at various locations around Austin. But the Good Capitalist Party [set for Monday night] is now destined to be one of the festival's biggest off-program networking events, having attracted so many RSVPs so far that Montero and his crew have had to change venues twice just to accommodate those interested -- not to mention an expanding roster of sponsors, which now include Acumen Fund, Social Edge, Good Magazine, Kiva, and the Austin Center for Design and others.

According to Montero, the event will focus on social entrepreneurship and the people and companies that strive to profit as well as make the world a better place. Montero says guests will include the founders of new for-profit and nonprofit hybrid models and a number of social entrepreneurs -- both experienced and just getting started. They'll be on hand to answer questions from attendees on how best to start your own social venture and share information about funding, fellowships, training, and startup contests and investors.

Montero says he came up with the name for the event -- good capitalist -- based on his desire to promote social enterprise among all kinds of citizens and "average Joe types" [including but not limited to MBAs]. Montero says he's been inspired by the groundswell and will announce a new enterprise of his own at the event, what he describes as a Web site for "average Joes [and Janes]" that will aim to be "an uber-practical guide to social enteprise for the blue collar." Watch this space for details.

For more information about the party -- now wait-listing people who haven't yet signed up -- check out the event's Web site.

Are you planning to attend? Let us hear from you!

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