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The REDF Accelerator brings together a cohort of incredible employment social enterprise leaders -- those who are building revenue-generating businesses that hire and support people who are striving to overcome significant employment barriers. Our Fellows receive expert guidance on core business competencies, employee support programs, and the opportunity to plug into a network of like-minded peers. To hear more about the experience from our alumni watch the video below from our most recent cohort.

Accelerator Curriculum

The core curriculum focuses on the following key areas:
• Marketing, messaging & communication
• Strategic planning & operations
• Develop an employee supports program that provides stability to your employees as your social enterprise grows
• Financial planning to calculate your double bottom line and social return on investment
• Analyze business operations to identify gaps in current business and service delivery
• Provide tools to support growth and scale in revenue and people employed at your enterprise

The Accelerator also equips Fellows with the tools to:
• Improve your strategic thinking and planning skills
• Set (and execute!) bold professional and personal goals
• Diagnose and overcome business challenges through a growth mindset approach
• Develop strong relationships with peers leading social enterprises across the country
• Better understand your audience and craft a compelling business pitch
• Expand local and national professional networks

Funding
If accepted, lodging and most meals for the Accelerator sessions are covered by REDF. Fellows are responsible for travel costs to and from each session. There are limited stipends available for Fellows who cannot afford the cost of travel, additional information about travel stipends is included in the Accelerator application.

Upon completion of the program, you are eligible to apply for program funding through REDF’s strategic grant-making program. These one-year strategic grants or recoverable funding allocations typically range between $10K - $40K. Participation in the Accelerator does not automatically qualify the enterprise for funding through REDF.

Program Schedule

June 10, 2019 Application Opens
July 29, 2019 Application Closes
August 2019 Follow-up with Applicants (as needed)
September 2019 Selected Applicants Notified
Tuesday, November 5 - Friday, November 8, 2019 Session 1 | Denver (location pending*)
Tuesday, February 4 - Friday, February 7, 2020 Session 2 | East Bay (location pending*)
Tuesday, May 5 - Friday, May 8, 2020 Session 3 | Nashville (confirmed)

Selection Criteria

To apply, the applicant and enterprise must meet the following criteria. If after reviewing this list, you still have questions about whether you are eligible, please contact us at accelerator@redf.org.
Applicant Eligibility
• Must be the operating head of an employment-focused social enterprise and have full decision-making authority over the enterprise. Only one member of each social enterprise is eligible to attend the sessions.
• Willing to provide key data to REDF for a total of three years – during the Program and for the two years after completion. (This includes completion of the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative annual survey.)
• Able to attend all three in-person sessions and complete bi-weekly assignments during the Accelerator.

Enterprise Eligibility
• Currently employs individuals in REDF’s target population (people with history of homelessness, formerly incarcerated, with substance use or mental health challenges, and/or opportunity youth) and pays wages that meet local minimum wage standards.
• Currently earning revenue with a suggested twelve months of revenue statements. Revenue should be between $75K - $1M per year. If revenue is above or below this range, you will be asked to provide more details as to why you believe this program is the right fit for your enterprise. For example:
- Revenue is currently $40K/year but there are active contracts that will bring the enterprise to $80K this fiscal year.
- Revenue is currently $1.3M/year, operating costs are high and the programmatic side of the enterprise is struggling since it lacks expertise in employee supports and workforce development.
• Located and legally able to operate in the United States.

REDF evaluates applications on the following:
Mission Alignment | Your mission is aligned with REDF’s priority to support social enterprises that provide transitional employment for those with barriers to employment.
Leadership Fit | Demonstrated interest in being an active cohort participant to learn from, share with, and teach others. Will consistently complete assignments to ensure maximum learning for the cohort.
Growth Plan Fit | Your social enterprise’s growth plan is clear, comprehensive and realistic while offering a compelling vision based on feasibility, market need, and job-type fit for the population served.
Organizational Capacity | The enterprise is in an overall strong position – both operationally and financially – to build on what already exists and with the right support and resources, grow over the next 2-5 years.

Applications are assessed on a range of criteria and for a complementary fit with the cohort. There is no one evaluation criteria or “typical” applicant.

Still have questions? Here’s a few more resources:
• We will host an informational webinar on July 16th at 10:00am PST. Register here.
• Email us at accelerator@redf.org with any questions.

Apply for 2020 Cohort

Application Deadline: Monday, July 29 by 11:59 p.m. PST. Apply Now!

If after reviewing this list, you have questions about whether you are eligible, please contact us at accelerator@redf.org.