Welcome to 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.
Social Enterprise Academies
Our core program, the Social Enterprise Academy, empowers participants to develop and launch a social enterprise: a for-profit business that helps to solve a social or environmental problem. The program, which consists of a series of workshops, mentoring and a venture capital competition, has been especially effective with leaders of nonprofit organizations who want to diversify their revenue sources.
“As a non-profit, people have a misconception that we shouldn’t be making money. This Academy taught me that we need to operate like a for-profit in order to be sustainable.” - Academy Graduate
To read more graduate testimonials and an evaluation study of three separate Academy programs, CLICK HERE. The progress reports clearly demonstrated our model is fulfilling its 3 core objectives:
Congratulations SocEnt Challenge Winners: codeSPARK, Takachar and Desolenator
The Southern California Social Entrepreneurship Venture Challenge focused on linking the most promising entrepreneurs with the leading social venture philanthropists in Southern California. The contestants were for-profit, not-for-profit and hybrid with domestic or international operations. Forty experts selected the finalists according to the the following six criteria: The enterprise directly addresses a clear social problem; the enterprise influences systems, not just symptoms of the problem; the leadership team demonstrates tenacity and relevant experience; The enterprise will generate significant social and financial returns; the venture prioritizes social impact over financial gain for its owners; the enterprise has demonstrated traction evidenced by sales or investment.
The program culminated on May 6th with the Impact Investing Showcase & Symposium. A big congratulations to the three winners,codeSpark, (Pasadena) $12,000;Takachar, (Cambridge, MA) $10,000;Desolinator, (London, UK) $8,000.
We were further inspired by presentations from Adlai Wertman, Professor and Founding Director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at USC Marshall School of Business, and Marco Vangelisti, Founder, Essential Knowledge for Transition, about how to align our investments with our values.
The UCLA Social Enterprise Academy is a six month program which supports nonprofit organizations in launching social enterprises while engaging students in "applied economics". The business development process is structured around an eight-session workshop series on subjects like “Financials Matter,” “Effective Sales and Marketing” and “Business Planning – The Big Picture.”
On Friday, June 3rd, the fifth annual UCLA Social Enterprise Venture Competition & Showcase took place. Nine teams representing local community organizations pitched their business ventures for $35,000 in cash awards. First place winner LA Conservation Corp took home $16,000. $10,000 went to Pure Game and $5,000 to 3rd place finalist PS I Love You. The audience favorite award of $4,000 went to Oceans Global.
Beverly Schwartz of Ashoka delivered a fascinating talk on what makes social entrepreneurs successful. Schwartz lead Ashoka's Global Marketing team to pioneer awareness around the idea of social entrepreneurship and establish Ashoka as its leader in the field. She is also author of “RIPPLING- How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World” which outlines principles for driving significant change throughout an entire system.
Is Social Enterprise for You?
Explore this question with other nonprofit executives on Thursday, August 4th in Apple Valley. Lead by Betsy Densmore, ASE’s Managing Director, this workshop was created for those leading a tax-exempt charity, and interested in exploring opportunities to generate mission-related earned income. The presentation explains social enterprise and explores examples of successful models. Participants will acquire an understanding of the many types of social enterprise and the constraints and the challenges that are keys to deciding if social enterprise is right for you. A “readiness” assessment and steps in the development process will also be offered. Sponsored by the Academy for Grassroots Organizations, a high desert consortium.
Date: Thursday, August 4th 9:00 am to 11:00 am
More information and to register: academygo.memberzone.com/events/details/resource-network-meeting-high-desert-08-04-2016-577
Thanks to Our Sponsors & Lead Partners
- Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs, our fiscal sponsor, was instrumental in our developing a new Academy for use with a global cohort of organizations that are working on sustainable fisheries. This Academy was funded by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.
- The California Community Foundation, Pacific Western Bank, Goodwill of Orange County and the Southern California Slow Money Network joined with lead presenter Saddleback College to sponsor the Southern California Social Entrepreneurship Venture Challenge (SocEnt Challenge).
- With key support from the Nicholas Endowment and the Simon Foundation, UCLA’s Department of Economics is continuing its commitment to experiential learning for its students by underwriting annual Social Enterprise Academies.
- Academies for Social Entrepreneurship is pleased to have partnered with the Delhi Center of Santa Ana to produce the 2013-2014 Orange County Social Enterprise Academy. Many thanks to the Annenberg Foundation for being our lead funder for this important collaboration and for a second grant to support the Soc Ent Challenge.
- A general operating support grant from the Orange County Community Foundation Next Gen donors circle enabled us to expand our outreach efforts with website improvements and a series of media placements.
- Funding from The California Endowment enabled nearly two dozen organizations to participate in Social Enterprise Academies and many more to benefit from educational programs focusing on the power of social entrepreneurship in building healthy communities.
- ASE acknowledges Wells Fargo Bank for their multi-year support of our Orange County programming.
- Thanks to REDF (also known as The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund) for their partnership and financial support in supporting an Academy and other programs focused on social enterprises that create jobs and employment opportunities.