Longmont, CO, June 22, 2015—Nonprofits have engaged in social enterprise for decades, yet they often do so by the seat of their pants without holistic programs and supports to explore, develop and launch social ventures. True to our entrepreneurial, startup roots, Colorado once again is leading the way for nonprofit social ventures with just such a program.
The Colorado Nonprofit Social Enterprise Exchange (The Exchange)—a project of interSector Partners, L3C and JVoyles Nonprofit Consulting—is accepting applications for Front Range nonprofits to be part of its third Social Enterprise Exchange Cohort. Within a peer networking and learning environment, nonprofits will develop social enterprises over the course of nine months starting in January 2016. Each month will focus on a different business development topic such as social enterprise readiness and ideation, engaging stakeholders in the process, feasibility studies and market research, and writing and pitching a business plan. The first year culminates with nonprofits pitching their new businesses for support and funding, and a second year of services includes launch and implementation support. Think Tech Stars or Unreasonable Institute, but designed specifically for nonprofits – the original social entrepreneurs!
In the inaugural cohort, eight nonprofits designed and developed new business focused on jobs for low-income and hard to employ community members (like Art Restart and Strong, Smart and Bold Beans), recycling, child safety (the Children’s Hospitals of Colorado Safety Store), and even a luxury camping business designed to introduce and educate people to the wonder and value of Colorado’s prairie. In 2015, nine nonprofits followed the inaugural cohort’s path by joining the second Social Enterprise Cohort, now at the halfway point of developing their new social ventures. Motivations for considering social enterprise include loss of government and other funding, a desire to build more sustainable nonprofits, the chance to direct more funding toward mission-focused activities and the opportunity to employ clients.
Through the support of generous funding from the Third Generation of Hunt Alternatives, The Denver Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, The Piton Foundation, The Jay and Rose Phillips Foundation of Colorado, Bright Mountain Foundation and local community sponsors such as Vectra Bank and Emily Davis Consulting, The Exchange is offered to nonprofits at a significantly subsidized rate of $8,000 per organization including the core curriculum and a year of launch and implementation support.
Applications will be accepted through August 14, 2015. To learn more about The Exchange, its funding, partners or to apply for the program, visit http://sustainablenonprofits.org/social-enterprise-cohort/ or contact us by phone. High resolution images from the inaugural and 2015 cohorts, as well as additional information about the businesses launched are available upon request.
For more information contact:
Caryn Capriccioso, MNM