The LA Social Impact Community Comes Together For 3rd Annual Make Change Awards

On Thursday, January 18, members of five leading organizations within the LA social impact community - Conscious Capitalism, Green Business Networking, Happy City, Social Enterprise Alliance LA and Net Impact LA - are coming together at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica for the third annual MakeChange Awards.

Boasting its largest roster of nominees to date in categories including Social Enterprise of the Year, Conscious Leadership, and Innovation of the Year, the fast-growing success of the MakeChange Awards might just a sign of good things to come in Los Angeles, the business world and society at large. Net Impact LA is proud to present the category for Impact of the Year.

A true community effort, Net Impact LA worked with the other leading social impact organizations to make this great event happen.

We had a chance to catch up the MakeChange Awards founder Mika Kim, and chat about the amazing growth her programming has seen in just three years.

Net Impact Los Angeles: What inspired you to create the MakeChange Awards?

Mika Kim: Three years ago, I served on several of the Boards of Directors that are now partners of the MakeChange Awards, and it became very clear that we all wanted a platform where we were able to acknowledge the organizations that were part of our ecosystem in a way that showcased their efforts that were elevating humanity. It was at that time that the idea of the MakeChange Awards was born, now the preeminent socially conscious event, comprised of six categories to recognize the “Do Good / Be Good” business ventures. This year, we have over 100 nominees.

NILA: How have you seen the LA social impact community grow and change in the three years since you've started the MakeChange Awards.

Mika Kim: The most interesting change seen since the inception of the MakeChange Awards has been the blurred lines that has been created in business entities. There used to be a time when there was a hard line between nonprofits and for profits. With the increasing awareness of social enterprises, conscious businesses and B corporations on the rise (all with the purpose to elevate humanity) it has been an interesting landscape to observe the  change where conversations are not focused on competition as much as it is about dialogues built on win-win solutions.   

NILA: What are some of the biggest successes you've seen for past honorees?

Mika Kim: The primary reason for the growth of the MakeChange Awards has been due to the exposure that one receives as an honoree. The unique advantage point for the Awards is that it is open to all types, from non-profits to for-profits. By being recognized, there’s an automatic cross pollination that occurs with opportunities that arise from companies that are seeking to add to their corporate social responsibility portfolio to charitable organizations that are able to provide private public partnerships.  

It has been most rewarding to hear as an aftermath of the MakeChange Awards that relationships were built with an onset that began from the Awards.  

NILA: What do you foresee in the LA social impact community moving into the future?

Mika Kim: With the overwhelming number of consumers in the Millennial generation that are demanding a socially conscious focus, in the future, businesses will need to implement a “Do Good” model into their product and services offerings. Unfortunately, we still have a ways to go on the “Be Good” model to be implemented in businesses, as that takes a larger effort to change one’s DNA.  

With Los Angeles leading the way in innovation, the emphasis on the triple bottom line framework will remain where the social impact performance is evaluated on the same plane as its profitability in business models.