Beau Necco’s private child welfare company has built 10,000 families through adoptions and grown to a USD104 million social enterprise with an underlying belief that every child needs a family.
Necco grew up in a home in Appalachia, a cultural region in the Eastern U.S., and social justice was often the main topic for discussion at his family’s dinner table. The son of a college professor and a Head Start director, he heard firsthand about the inefficiency and lack of accountability that existed within the bureaucratic social services system. So, it was only natural that when he finished his MBA, he returned to West Virginia and founded Necco in a one-room office with one clear goal: to change the face of child welfare.
That was in 1997. Seven years later, Inc. Magazine listed Necco as the 53rd fastest growing company in the nation with an annual growth rate of 2,446%. He had a business strategy that was simple, and it worked: Apply tried-and-true business practices to solve social problems and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in an arena that had been dominated by government and nonprofit agencies.
Today, Necco is one of the largest private companies in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, with annual revenues over USD104 million and 34 offices throughout Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. Necco’s original vision to create a social enterprise based on meritocracy and inclusion remains. After 25 years, he still believes the best idea should win regardless of structural power and that you maximize intellectual horsepower by getting all brains in the game. Necco’s leadership is comprised of 83% female members and 27% people of color.
Social impact and financial performance are held in equal regard, and both are used to measure success. One measure of that impact is adoption of children. Necco has facilitated more than 10,000 adoptions, translating directly into a USD3.74 billion reduction in government spending for foster care per diems alone. The much larger social impact is found in the improved outcomes of children’s lives by achieving forever families. That figure is far too complex to calculate, but it’s one that Necco is proud to count among the company’s successes.