Jacquie Berglund (BF’14) keeps several hardhats around her small office on the edge of downtown Minneapolis. Co-founder of Finnegans, the first beer company in the world to donate 100 percent of its profits ($1 million to date) to charity, Berglund grabs one several times a day and heads three blocks to the construction site where her next big idea is taking shape. When it fully opens in late spring of 2018, Finnegans House will feature a brewery and taproom as well as a social business incubator and accelerator. The expanded space and mission are the result of a collaboration with Impact Hub MSP and promise to change the landscape of social entrepreneurship in the Twin Cities.
When Berglund started Finnegans in 2000, it was one of the only social businesses in the country. She used the proceeds from beer sales to buy produce from local farmers, which she then donated to food shelves. She soon started looking for ways to broaden the conversation around the impact businesses have on communities and the environment. She received a Bush Fellowship in 2014 to expand and build support for other social entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities. Fast forward to 2017, when Berglund and Mary Rick, a co-founder of Impact Hub MSP and the current CEO of FINNovation Lab + Impact Hub MSP, are finalizing programming, budgets, design of the new Finnegans House building, and dealing with the frustrations that always come with construction. One cold November week, it was an electrical wiring problem in the new building that had Berglund dashing between Finnegans and the construction site.