When your business idea is to change the world for the better, it stands to reason that you should welcome all the help you can get.
And contrary to what you might think after watching the nightly news, the world is filled with amazing people who want to not only make things better, but to help others do the same.
Social entrepreneurship is no longer the puny little brother of traditional capitalism, and instead has become a booming field of innovators who want to change the world.
The greatest part of these organizations is the sense of community with others involved in social entrepreneurship, leading successful organizations to create the various incubator and accelerator programs that are in practice today.
So if you’re thinking about launching a startup set on doing some good in the world, we’re here to tell you that you’re not alone.
Below are just a few of the wide array of social entrepreneurship programs in the United States, that want to help you help everyone else.
When social entrepreneurs from Arizona need a helping hand, they apply for one of the limited seats at SEED SPOT. The program supports both for-profit businesses with social missions, and nonprofit organizations with sustainable revenue models.
SEED SPOT functions primarily as a social entrepreneurship launching pad for early-stage startups. It runs for 4 months, and in order to accommodate those with day jobs, offers both a full-time and an evening schedule. Overall, they select 80 entrepreneurs (or ‘ventures’) twice per year to take part.
Among other requirements, in order to join the program all ventures must demonstrate social impact and reside in the state of Arizona. And after garnering attention from local and national press, it seems that SEED SPOT is doing something right for the socially conscious entrepreneurs of Arizona.
Being called an “Unreasonable Fellow” might, under normal circumstances, earn the speaker a sharp reprimand for his rudeness. But for the people applying to the Unreasonable Institute, it’s a title they would gladly accept.
The Unreasonable Institute, or as we like to call it, summer camp for entrepreneurs, runs a 5 week program on social entrepreneurship and accelerating one’s plans to change the world.
And much like camp, at the Unreasonable Institute you have the opportunity to make life-long friends and learn skills that can impact the rest of your life.
The goal of the institute is to help these entrepreneurs quickly scale up the impact of their businesses so that they may have a positive impact on the lives of over 1 million people, by helping them raise funds and offering experienced mentors for every fellow. How’s that for a lofty goal?
Hub Ventures accepts startup teams that can demonstrate potential for scale, profitability, and a measurable impact on the world.
Once accepted, you begin a 12-week program where you’ll receive up to $20,000 in seed funding, take part in mentorship counseling, join a purpose-driven community, and learn business tactics specifically tailored to startups.
The most exciting component is Investor Day, where Hub Ventures invites their huge network of investors and allows the entrepreneurs in the program the opportunity to pitch to literally hundreds of potential investors.
Echoing Green Fellowship
The social entrepreneurship incubator at Echoing Green Fellowship is a two-year program that provides a diverse range of hands-on support to the handful of entrepreneurs that are accepted.
Not only do those selected receive funding, they are given assistance to launch their organizations, access to Echoing Green’s vast network of contacts, leadership development, and one-to-one support and counseling.
The Alumni Program perpetuates the community-like aspect of the program with members who have been a part of the organization since 1987 offering a wealth of knowledge and perspective for new business owners.
Want in on the social entrepreneurship action?
The opportunities available to socially-minded entrepreneurs are endless, so it’s up to you to get active in your search for the right program to fit your business plan. The good news is that when you’re doing something great for the world, it’s easy to find help.
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