Social Venture Partners (SVP) Minnesota Chooses The A-list as Newest Investee

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As part of its mission of transforming lives of at-risk youth, SVP Minnesota selects The A-list as the latest addition to its social investment portfolio

The most important thing SVP provides is the expertise of its partners. Their help will be critical to shaping a strategy to grow the A-list and take it to even more communities in the coming years.

Social Venture Partners (SVP) Minnesota selected The A-list as its newest investee, and beginning in 2012, will offer financial support in addition to business expertise to help The A-list grow as a sustainable source of positive change in the Minneapolis/St.Paul community. The A-list is a snack and apparel shop in Brooklyn Park that employs at-risk teens and provides afterschool educational programs and evening events to decrease juvenile crime and increase successful outcomes for youth. What makes The A-list unique is the social entrepreneurship component – teens themselves work selling snacks and producing custom screen printed clothing, learning job skills while producing revenue. This revenue in turn supports The A-list programs and events. A team of SVP partners selected The A-list out of four nonprofit finalists.

Social Venture Partners combines the power of business with the passion of philanthropy. SVP partners bring their collective expertise, financial resources, professional skills, life experience and creativity to work in partnership with area nonprofits and their leaders. SVP makes the connections that make a difference, creating better ways to solve complex social problems.

"The A-list emerged as our Fall 2011 investee from some of the best social ventures we have yet reviewed,” said SVP’s Executive Director, Brad Brown. “In an area of the Twin Cities with few positive environments for at-risk teens to congregate, The A-list provides a safe place to gather, academic support, and jobs. SVP members are anxious to work with A-list's staff and board to realize the great potential it has to grow its program to serve many more teens."

After a selection process that began in July with fifty-five nonprofit proposals submitted, SVP narrowed it down to four organizations, and in November, its partners made site visits to the finalists’ organizations.

In addition to an initial $25,000 grant, The A-list will benefit from the intellectual capital and collective expertise of a team of SVP partners, who will work with The A-list to help draft business plans, create marketing strategies, and provide other assistance for organizational capacity building.

“We are very much looking forward to working with SVP and look forward to the amazing things we’ll be able to accomplish together for at-risk youth,” said Matt Norris, Executive Director and co-Founder of The A-list. “'The most important thing SVP provides is the expertise of its partners. Their help will be critical to shaping a strategy to grow The A-list and take it to even more communities in the coming years.''

SVP partners will officially begin work with The A-list in January.

ABOUT SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS MINNESOTA
SVP combines the power of business with the passion of philanthropy. SVP partners bring their collective expertise, financial resources, professional skills, life experience and creativity to work in partnership with area nonprofits and their leaders. By pooling resources, partners strengthen innovative nonprofits while learning to be better philanthropists.

SVP Minnesota was formed in 2002 and is one of 25 cities affiliated with SVP International, based in Seattle. SVP’s overarching goals are to find solutions to some of society’s most intractable problems and to create a better community and world. For further information, contact SVP Executive Director Brad Brown at (952) 844-5230 or bbrown(at)svpmn(dot)org, or visit http://www.svpminnesota.org.

ABOUT THE A-LIST
The A-list is a snack and apparel shop in Brooklyn Park that employs at-risk teens and provides afterschool educational programs and evening events to decrease juvenile crime and increase successful outcomes for youth. Each of the many activities at The A-list advances its mission of entrepreneurship, education, and creative arts. A-list teens work selling snacks at the snack bar and make custom screen printed t-shirts to learn job skills while producing revenue to support the other programs and events offered by A-list. The A-list’s 5,400 square foot space is a one-stop-shop for youth in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. More information can be found at http://www.thealistyouth.org.

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