Academies for Social Entrepreneurship Academies for Social Entrepreneurship (ASE) helps develop innovative solutions to social problems by providing training and mentoring for social entrepreneurs. ASE is the convener and catalyst, focusing on equipping entrepreneurs with the resources they need to create and sustain high-performing social enterprises.Our core program is Social Enterprise Academies, which take place over six to nine months and engage 6 to 10 organizations in a rigorous growth planning process. The unique combination of training, mentoring and pitch training has expanded capacity for over two hundred social entrepreneurs, producing more than 8 million dollars in new investment and earned income streams.
Accelerator / Incubator
During an academy program, workshops train participants to develop business models that fulfill a social purpose and generate profit. Each organization is assigned a business mentor who helps the organization develop a business plan and a pitch” for the Academy “showcase.” In the showcase, participants present their business plans to a panel of social sector and business investors, and are evaluated on the basis of seven criteria known to predict success in social enterprise development. As with private sector business plan competitions, the winners receive cash awards. But in fact everyone wins, as all organizations leave the process with a road map and support for creating and growing their social enterprise.
The use of peer learning groups and pro bono experts from the private sector together comprise a unique and highly effective way to ensure deep capacity building that expands the participating organizations’ ability to deliver on their missions for the long term. We are also dedicated to increasing collaboration between the not-for-profit and business communities. Following the showcase, team leaders from each venture sometimes continue to meet on a monthly basis. Participants share lessons learned, uncover flaws in their planning, and are mentored through the calculated risks necessary to launching a business.