Frank Knott is the founding CEO of Baltimore-based Innovation Works, Inc. (IW). IW’s mission is to reduce Baltimore’s neighborhood racial and wealth divide.
Over the next ten years, IW will enable neighborhood innovators to develop 250 sustainable social enterprise businesses in Baltimore’s under invested neighborhoods. These firms will employ 5,000 workers and attract $100 million of invested capital to create sustainable neighborhood economies across Baltimore. Mr. Knott has made a four year pro-bono commitment to the Maryland Jesuit Province to lead development of IW into a sustainable social enterprise. IW develops sustainable social enterprises powered by Ignatian values. IW is based on the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. Miller Center is the largest and most successful social enterprise accelerator in the world. It has created more than 900 social enterprises (SEs) in 6o+ countries that employ more than 25,000 workers, attracted over $940 billion of invested capital and impacted the lives of 320 million people.
Frank Knott is also Chairman and Founder of ViTAL Economy (VE), a North American social enterprise founded in 1992 on the Jesuit principle of “Being A Person For Others”. VE empowers communities to create more vibrant, transformed and livable places…one regional economy at a time”. VE’s team of successful entrepreneurs has advised dozens of under performing regional rural economies across the United States, Canada and Australia. VE client economies have achieved more than $3 billion in annual sustainable economic impact, created thousands of new high wage jobs and built hundreds of entrepreneurial firms. VE regional initiatives have been recognized as national best practice models in Canada, Australia and the United States in each decade since 1992.
Mr. Knott has published a number of articles and case studies on the effectiveness of collaborative regional economic development strategies and the importance of best practice S.M.A.R.T. performance metrics. He has been a frequent speaker and lecturer in the United States and Canada on the challenges, choices and opportunities of the connected global economy. He has facilitated and advised a number of retreats for executive branch and cabinet ministers of state, provincial, and federal governments in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Mr. Knott’s expertise in building successful regional public private partnerships has been recognized by the administrations of several US presidents including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.