5 global social incubators promoting social entrepreneurship around the world

19th Oct 2013
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Social business incubators provide crucial support and mentoring in the early years of a social enterprise. This is the time that they need it most and their intervention could be the key difference between early failure or enduring success. The roles of social business incubators can vary from program to program and from entrepreneur to entrepreneur, but generally, its implementation is designed to speed up the development of start-ups so that they can find success in and through the management and contacts that the incubator has to offer.


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Global social incubators generally are agnostic when it comes to targeted sectors and unmet social needs and try to create a new balance between global economic forces and social issues around the world.

After our 7 social business incubators’ list, these global social incubators can help your venture take flight if you plan to launch your own venture or are in the midst of building one:

1. Echoing Green:

Since their inception, Echoing Green has provided more than 500 emerging social entrepreneurs working in more than forty countries with $31 million in start-up funding, customized support services, and access to their global network. They offer two year fellowships to outstanding entrepreneurs in social and environmental space, with seed funding and professional development. They are open to entrepreneurs applying from any part of the world. You can learn more about the Echoing Green fellowship application process here.

2. Fledge:

They call themselves the “conscious company” incubator, helping entrepreneurs who are bringing products and services to environment, health, community and sustainability conscious consumers. Twice per year, they invite up to 8 businesses into a 10-week program and provide them education, advice and mentorship, plus $ 15,000 per team. Deadline for 2014 applications is 15th December.

3. Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI):

Hosted at Santa Clara University, GSBI has an international education program designed to serve social benefit entrepreneurs working in the fields of education, health, economic development, the environment, and equality around the world, mainly in developing countries. Each year, over a 10-month period, the GSBI equips social entrepreneurs with the business discipline to grow their social ventures and amplify their impact. 2014 applications are open until 31st October.

4. GoodCompany:

They want to promote sustainable business models where social impact is integral to what the company does. GoodCompany Residency is their incubator program which gives socially and environmentally motivated start-ups affordable workspace, meetings with potential partners and investors, and mentorship and training. GoodCompany Ventures is their intensive three-month program designed to accelerate the growth of social enterprise start-ups. Companies such as One Degree Solar, Flowatch and Wash Cycle Laundry are part of their portfolio.

5. Unreasonable Institute:

They provide mentorship, training and the network to help startups tackling social and environment needs. They pick only 12 high impact entrepreneurs every year and are open to applications from any part of the world. Once you are accepted, you have to spend six weeks in their Colorado campus (which is fully paid by them), where you go through extensive training, receive access to 50 world-class mentors, exposure to 20 active impact investment funds, and the chance pitch to hundreds of potential investors and partners. Applications for the 2014 Institute are open; to know more about it, click here.

Image credits: dutiee.com

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