San Francisco-based Civic Ventures has announced the winners of the 2009 Purpose Prize. The prize recognizes social entrepreneurs age 60 and older who are using their experience and passion to take on society's biggest challenges.
This year's five winners will receive $100,000 each for their social innovations, while five other social entrepreneurs will receive $50,000 each. Now in its fourth year, the prize is part of the Encore Careers campaign, which aims to engage millions of boomers approaching retirement in "encore" careers that combine social impact, personal meaning, and continued income in the second half of life.
Funded by Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, the $17 million program is the only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life in the country. According to studies by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the 55-64 age group is the most active in creating new ventures, while those in the 20-34 age cohort are the least entrepreneurial. This year, more than a thousand people were nominated for the prize for their efforts to tackle problems such as poverty, recidivism, and homelessness.
"More than ever, the problems facing our communities, our country, and our world call out for creative solutions," said Purpose Prize co-founder Marc Freedman. "Fortunately, we don't run out of ideas as we age."
For a list of this year's winners, visit the Purpose Prize Web site.