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REDF Accelerator

A unique program for the leaders of employment social enterprise

Accelerating impact

The REDF Accelerator is a specialized program that provides training and connection for social enterprise entrepreneurs. Leaders of these mission-driven business can feel isolated, exhausted, and challenged by the need to stay on the cutting edge of both social and business best practices. The Accelerator supports them as they strengthen and grow their businesses to provide more people with the jobs and support they need to thrive.

As a member of the Accelerator, leaders become part of a cohort of like-minded peers that mentor each other through the program and beyond. Our curriculum is delivered in partnership with +Acumen and functions like a “mini MBA” for social entrepreneurs. We cover traditional business topics including strategic planning, financial planning, and marketing while always keeping the mission of employing people overcoming barriers at the core of all programming.


The core curriculum focuses on the following key areas:

  • Business Operations: marketing, finance, operations & organization program improvements
  • Programmatic Operations: employee supports and designing programs for intended outcomes

The Accelerator also equips Fellows with the tools and resources to:

  • Improve strategic thinking and planning skills
  • Set (and execute!) bold professional and personal goals
  • Diagnose and overcome challenges by applying a “growth mindset” approach
  • Develop strong relationships with peers for problem-solving and future support
  • Better understand your audience and increase the effectiveness of your funding pitch


Applicant Eligibility

  • Must be the operating head of an employment-focused social enterprise and have full decision-making authority over the enterprise.
  • 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.)
  • Attend three in-person sessions and complete bi-weekly assignments during that time.

Enterprise Eligibility

  • Revenue should be between $25K – $1M per year. If revenue is above or below this range, you’ll be asked to provide more detail as to why you believe this program is the right fit for the enterprise. For example:
    • Revenue is currently $12K/year but there are active contracts that will bring the enterprise to $40K this fiscal year.
    • Revenue is currently $1.2M/year, operating costs are high, and the programmatic side of the enterprise is struggling since it lacks expertise in employee supports and workforce development.
  • Currently employs REDF’s target population (those with a history of homelessness, incarceration, addiction, mental illness and/or opportunity youth) and pays wages that meet local minimum wage standards through a transitional jobs model.
  • Located, and legally able to operate, in the United States.

How to Apply

If after reviewing this list you have questions about whether you are eligible, please contact us at The next application and cohort will be open in 2021.

REDF Accelerator Fellows

Located around the country, Accelerator alumni are poised to make major moves in the employment social enterprise sector.

More on REDFworkshop

REDFworkshop has the tools, resources, and connections you need to grow your business and increase your impact.

I love the cohort model. All of the Accelerator Fellows are knowledgeable and really passionate about their work. We are becoming such a closely tied community, and I think every startup entrepreneur needs a community.

Jerelyn Rodriguez, Co-Founder and CEOThe Knowledge House

The Accelerator program feels like an MBA program designed for my nonprofit social enterprise. The depth and specificity of learning, and how relevant it has been to my work, is incredible.

Paul Fordham, Deputy Director of Homeward BoundWagster Treats

The community and networking that the Accelerator program offers is fantastic and so energizing. It’s incredible to meet people from across the country doing such phenomenal, impactful things.

Paige Pavalone, Executive DirectorMissoula Works

Being part of the Accelerator is going to help me take my social enterprise to the next level. I have learned so many new lessons and ideas – from other participants and the speakers – that I can take home and implement.

Justin Green, Founder and Executive DirectorBig Reuse