a nonprofit in North Charleston, builds leaders, establishes quality housing, and promotes economic development. The organization hosts a variety of programs for young people – from Youth Leadership Academy to financial literacy classes that help strengthen communities. 

In support of this mission, Empower Charleston (formerly Social Venture Partners) invested in Metanoia from 2013-2014 and again from 2016-2017 — for a total investment of $135,000. 

According to Metanoia leaders, Empower Charleston’s greatest impact was with its youth-serving programs that inspired them to take leadership roles in their community. 

Empower Charleston helped develop and implement an original entrepreneurship curriculum that targeted the youngest of Metanoia’s Civic Leaders from sixth through 12th grade. 

The curriculum allowed students to progressively develop a deeper understanding of how small businesses work while simultaneously fostering an interest in entrepreneurship. Partners ran weekly, individualized sessions for the students. 

For students at the next stage of the Youth Leadership pipeline, Empower Charleston helped inspire the creation of the Metanoia Fellows Program, which allowed Metanoia to train leaders in community organization, transformational leadership, fundraising and organizational development. 

In addition to more than 200 hours of intellectual capital invested in these programs, Empower Charleston provided financial capital that helped Metanoia move into a new Youth Entrepreneurship and Volunteer Center. 

Reading Partners Charleston

benefited in many significant ways through its work with Empower Charleston (formerly Social Venture Partners). The nonprofit works throughout the Tri-County region to help children become lifelong readers. It empowers communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results. 

Over a three-year engagement from 2016 to 2018, Empower Charleston invested $150,000 in Reading Partners and worked to help build its internal staff capacity to allow for organizational growth.

Empower Charleston also helped develop and guide the implementation of a Resource Development Plan that included Board development, a strategic growth plan, as well as a tutor recruitment and retention plan.

Over the three-year period, Reading Partners saw an increase in reading centers, students served, tutors, Board involvement, and more. On top of these achievements, the organization saw a revenue increase of more than $600,000 across Empower Charleston’s investment period. 

South Carolina Community Loan Fund

was an early investee of Empower Charleston (formerly Social Venture Partners), receiving $100,000 over a two-year period from 2014 to 2015. 

SCCLF is a Community Development Financial Institution that provides equitable access to capital and financing for projects that build stronger South Carolina communities — with a focus on people of color, women, low-income individuals, and those in rural communities. 

Originally, the funding was set for a three-year period, but Empower Charleston and SCCLF achieved its goals within two, accelerating the financial investment. 

Over the two years, Partners worked with the organization on several projects — from communications to internal development and strategic planning for SC Community Development Tax Credit Legislation. 

Perhaps Empower Charleston’s most significant contribution was to leverage its initial investment in SCCLF along with Empower Charleston’s reputational capital in the community to help SCCLF raise more than $2 million in 2014.