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.
In the video below, academy participants pitch their social enterprise plans during the venture competition phase of an Academy.
“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:
UCLA Social Enterprise Academy Offers Coaching and Cash Prizes for “Third Sector” Organizations-
SocEnt Challenge Closes Applications Phase, Moves to Evaluating Early Stage Ventures
ASE has joined forces with Saddleback College and other champions of social entrepreneurship to produce the 2015-16 Southern California Social Entrepreneurship Venture Challenge. The SocEnt Challenge is a 6 month program (December through May) that provides training, mentoring and business plan/pitch development for early stage social enterprises. Contestants may be for-profit, not-for-profit or hybrid with domestic or international operations. The Challenge will focus on linking the most promising entrepreneurs with the leading social venture philanthropists in Southern California. At least $100,000 in prizes is anticipated. Over forty experts will evaluate the applications according the the following six criteria:
1. The enterprise directly addresses a clear social problem.
2. The enterprise influences systems, not just symptoms of the problem.
3. The leadership team demonstrates tenacity and relevant experience.
4. The enterprise will generate significant social and financial returns.
5. The venture prioritizes social impact over financial gain for its owners.
6. The enterprise has demonstrated traction evidenced by sales or investment.
ASE is working with Rich Tafel who first piloted this investor model in Michigan in 2013. His article in Forbes explains some of the unique features.
We are thankful to our sponsors for providing talent and treasure to make the SocEnt Challenge possible- Annenberg Foundation, California Community Foundation, Goodwill Orange County, Pacific Western Bank and Slow Money.
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 is being funded by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.
- 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.
- UCLA’s Department of Economics is continuing its commitment to blending community service and education by underwriting annual Social Enterprise Academies.
- 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.