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Small Biz Focus: Social Entrepreneurs Weave a Path to Sustainability

This column sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The World Economic Forum defines social entrepreneurs as people who harness the power of market forces and business principles to solve social problems.

Many people around the world, especially young innovators, are striving to disrupt business norms and have an impact on some of the toughest problems imaginable. We know that using innovation and technology for social good has been around for some time.

We’ve been buying shoes that are ‘buy one give one,’ fair trading our product sources, sipping coffee with a cause and buying more shoes in the name of contributions to cancer research. But never before has the world seen today’s growth in social responsibility as a sector that attracts investment.

While the makeup of most social entrepreneurships is one of smart, savvy people helping those disadvantaged, Arlington has pioneered a model that puts a vulnerable population on a path to their own sustainability.

It’s been over 30 years since a weaving program for adults with developmental disabilities, first called The Woodmont Weavers, originated in Arlington. Started by parents who sought meaningful activities for their adult children once they left school, the program, now called ArlingtonWeaves, Etc., is a premier feature of Arlington’s Department of Human Services and run by Service Source, Inc.

It’s a long game for sure and one that emphasizes the investment in the human spirit. Where other social services in the U.S. may be satisfied with keeping disabled adults occupied with simple crafts and activities, Arlington’s weavers learn sophisticated, often complex textile skills while improving their social skills and self-sufficiency.

One participant, now 52, doesn’t speak, but his intricate textiles, knitting and tapestries tell a remarkable story of ability.

Creating intricate patterns on textiles for tote bags, tea towels, yoga mat straps, scarves and more, the studio has now become an artisan hub. ArlingtonWeaves, Etc. has become a vendor to Arlington Economic Development’s Made in Arlington initiative, been featured on regional television news, held center stage in a textile exhibit and taken their place among the most viable of social entrepreneurs.

Shop ArlingtonWeaves, Etc. here:

Studio showroom at Sequoia, Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and at the Plaza Library shop,Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!

Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 5th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!

A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.

Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3­-7.

Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.

Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.

Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Private School Fair

Congressional School to Host MONA Private School Fair Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 PM
Congressional School in Falls Church, VA is delighted to host the MONA (Mothers of North Arlington) at an upcoming Private School Fair. Private schools from around

WHS Spring Festival

Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!

Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and


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