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Beau Necco: Social Entrepreneur of the Year


Written by: Randy Bake


Beau Necco is like many Social Entrepreneurs. He is a risk-taker who uses the same spirit and tenacity to start a business, only going one step deeper to solve social problems. The balance sheet teeters on a double-bottom line between profit and a positive outcome.

Before the world began mixing business practices and social issues, one social entrepreneur, Beau Necco, was quietly watching, learning, and marshaling his resources. Recognizing the capacity of the entrepreneurial spirit to solve social problems, he set out to unravel the opportunities to profoundly disrupt the approach of delivering a positive outcome to a child in need.

Beau Necco’s family has been building families for over 45 years. The son of a university professor father, who taught child behavior disorders, and mother who ran HeadStart programs in the hollers of West Virginia; social justice was a constant dinner table theme.  

For years, Beau watched his parents struggle to help others amid bureaucratic waste and "success" metrics that did not take into account the wellbeing of the children in the system.  Those early impressions were to manifest themselves years later.   

20 years later and over 25,000 families built, Beau Necco was recognized as Ernst & Young’s 2017 Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Amongst 300 companies and 75 entrepreneurs, Beau was recognized for his dedication as a change agent to kids in need and relentlessly working to offer solutions where government agencies are often restricted.

Beau accepted this award alongside many others that share his passion for data-driven results, accountability, and scalable social solutions. His “tribe” of more than 600 employees, located across 4 states, live the deeply rooted Necco Corporate Culture – everyday.

“It’s invisible to the outside world and certainly our most competitive advantage. Competitors may copy us in many areas, but they cannot copy our culture. It’s impossible to replicate.” --Beau Necco

What was once a one-room office in rural West Virginia is now an army of change-agents aiming to fundamentally change the face of child well-being. Can child advocates follow Necco’s vision?

We can only hope.