Today REDF is launching our inaugural SE4JOBS Accelerator. Part business accelerator, part leadership development support, the SE4Jobs Accelerator is designed to foster a community of social enterprise leaders nationwide and provide them with knowledge, tools, and a network of like-minded peers that can help grow these businesses and create more jobs for the people that need them the most.
The SE4JOBS Accelerator grew out of the need we discovered in 2015 when we rolled out our Social Innovation Fund (SIF) funded portfolio investing in growth stage employment social enterprises that could help us achieve our objective of employing 50,000 people facing barriers to work. Our due diligence process introduced us to more than two hundred social enterprises around the country and we learned that along with direct investment, social enterprise leaders need an injection of intellectual and social capital. To do this work at scale and amplify their impact, they need a peer network to share challenges and reduce the risk of burnout, and a place to share what is working and learn about best practices.
That’s why as part of the SE4JOBS Accelerator, we will be convening these leaders three times during the next seven months—in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Baltimore. We hope to engage a community of social enterprises, employers, philanthropy and non-profits who support them in each city and leave behind a movement rooted in each city, at the same time we amplify their impact by connecting them to REDF’s national social enterprise network.
Participants in this year’s SE4JOBS Accelerator were selected from more than 50 applicants from 39 cities. We were encouraged by the interest and passion for the work of leading a social enterprise. Moving forward, REDF hopes to engage all of the inspiring, innovative social enterprises who expressed interest.
The SE4Jobs Accelerator will be delivered in partnership with the Points of Light Civic Accelerator (CivicX), a national startup boot camp and investment fund for for-profit and nonprofit civic ventures that engage people to solve critical social issues.
To learn more or get involved contact us at SE4JobsAccelerator@redf.org