Pave a Path – The Jim Schorr Scholarship for Social Entrepreneurs


Social Enterprise is Changing Thousands of Lives

Social enterprise is becoming an unstoppable movement in our world today. Impact reports from leaders like REDF and Cara Chicago, show thousands of individuals left at the margins of society are finding dignified work, rebuilding their lives after incarceration or overcoming homelessness. Organizations like Parker Clay have provided over 14,000 hours of paid work, at double the standard wage, in an Ethiopian artisan community, 4Heroes 4Life is helping military veterans and first responders overcome residual trauma from their work and ABLE recently became the first fashion brand to publish its factory wages in an effort to encourage ethical production.

To say these advancements are encouraging is an understatement. Yet, as this year’s news cycle can attest, income inequality, poverty, racial inequities and environmental troubles are still very pressing issues in our society.

In order to see further change, we need as many innovative solutions and individuals committed to social impact as we can get. The truth is, as long as there are social entrepreneurs still facing barriers to opportunity — whether due to their financial standing, gender, race, age or sexual orientation — the amount of change we can create will always be limited. That’s why we created the Pave a Path Campaign.

As long as there are social entrepreneurs still facing barriers to opportunity… the amount of change we can create will always be limited.

Pave a Path is a campaign that helps provide SEA membership, entitled the Jim Schorr Scholarship, to emerging social entrepreneurs who face barriers to opportunity. With SEA membership, these social entrepreneurs can have access to additional resources and connections needed to further their solutions and continue creating change. With the contributions of our community, we were able to offer 15 SEA membership scholarships to social entrepreneurs. Get to know our 2019 Jim Schorr Scholars!

Introducing our 2019 Jim Schorr Scholarship recipients

LaPorsche Jymi – H&H Headwear | Kendra Toole – BaMatooke Made | Ivelyse Andino – Radical Health | Bryon Pierson – The Serenity Strategy Network | Bhavya Reddy – NYC °CoolRoofs | Johannah Warren – Fashionkind Foundation | Karen James Cody – Kupendiza | Nakia Kelley – Change Her Story | Jobelle Gacuya – HMNTY | Danielle LaRock – Tiny Haven WV | Kimberly Moore – Go Together, Inc. | Jané Gautier Shadoin – The Butterfly Project | Solana Colson – Advocates of Sacred | Caroline Fisher – Swahili Coast | Aya-Nikole Cook – Haji Healing Salon, L3C

The Legacy of Jim Schorr

This scholarship exists in memory of Jim Schorr, a former Chair, President & CEO of Social Enterprise Alliance, who devoted his life to providing pathways for social entrepreneurs to thrive. His desire to see young social entrepreneurs excel was evident in his work as CEO of JUMA Ventures providing opportunity for disadvantaged youth, his creation of Net Impact connecting students to social impact professionals and his many years as an adjunct professor of social entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University. In every aspect of his personal and professional life, Jim was committed to building the movement of social enterprise and using it to transform lives. Jim has made an indelible impact on the lives of so many, including all of us in the SEA community.

It is with his legacy in mind that we are honored to continue his work of creating opportunity for social entrepreneurs through the Jim Schorr Scholarship. In 2019, donations to the Pave a Path Campaign in Jim’s honor enable young social entrepreneurs to join SEA and attend SEA’s national convening, Summit, which was among Jim’s favorite experiences with SEA. Jim understood the power of connecting social entrepreneurs to one another and providing them a platform to share and celebrate their work. We are proud to continue his legacy by connecting future generations of social entrepreneurs to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.

Donate today, share the campaign with colleagues, family and friends and help us carve pathways for more talented, innovative minds to join this community in 2020. Whether you can contribute $5 or $5,000, every cent you give goes toward real people who are creating solutions in our world.

What Our 2018 Scholarship Recipients Say About Pave a Path

Our first class of Pave a Path scholarships were awarded in June 2018. In just 6 months of membership, here’s what scholarship recipients had to say about the value of the experience:

Nick Lum, Founder & CEO of BeeLine Reader

Being a part of the Pave A Path program has allowed me to connect with many people working in the social impact space. This has happened through coordinated introductions by the SEA staff, and by happenstance meetings at events like SOCAP. Being included in the SEA directory has even led to outreach from external organizations, such as the Eisenhower Foundation. The end result is that I have been able to talk with and learn from experienced professionals working in literacy and accessibility. I’m very grateful to be part of the Pave A Path program and the Social Enterprise Alliance!

Darius Ballinger, Founder & CEO of Chasing 23 Youth Empowerment Services, Southside Prints

SEA has impacted my journey as a social entrepreneur in an earlier but significant way. As entrepreneurs, we’re encouraged to take chances and calculated risks. As a young emerging social entrepreneur, I’ve had to take a chance on myself. When others might not have seen the vision for me, I’ve had to affirm that vision for myself. Being selected for Pave a Path Scholarship and then being embraced by the SEA community affirmed my passion for social entrepreneurship as well helped to build my credibility in the field. To incoming SEA scholarship fellows, my advice is go all in with the SEA community when given the chance.


Mohammad Modarres, Founder of Abe’s Meats ( and TED Speaker

As a social entrepreneur, the most difficult aspect of starting a venture is the isolating feeling of going at it all alone. I appreciate what SEA does for social impact businesses because it is a community of people with resources who want to see you and your mission succeed. We had a meeting with a mentor who was assigned to us, were on the SEA newsletter, and later enjoyed our product being part of the holiday guide. It has been an absolute pleasure being part of SEA as a new start-up. Here is to new family!



What Your Donation Helps Provide

With an SEA membership, the Jim Schorr Scholarship provides access to:

  • The largest national network of social enterprise leaders
  • SEA’s Mentorship Program, connecting members with experienced social enterprise leaders for advice, guidance and support
  • SEA’s Office Hours Program, which offers dedicated time from experts in HR, legal, accounting/finance and other business management fields to assist with social enterprise operations
  • Free access to monthly webinars, as well as SEA’s webinar-archive, featuring insights from social enterprise leaders, investors and professionals
  • Discounts on unique programming and promotional services, including


    • Summit ‘19, SEA’s national convening bringing together social enterprise leaders from all over the country to learn, network and grow


    • SEA Impact Lab Program, a five-day funding readiness workshop, with curriculum taught by capital-advisors and mentors


    • Guest blogs, newsletter features, and other promotional opportunities on SEA’s platforms
  • Inclusion in Holiday Gift Guide
  • Chapter programs and activities
  • Exclusive, member-only discounts on events, professional services, business supplies and other unique business offerings
  • Members Only newsletter, featuring unique funding opportunities, community programs, knowledge resources and updates

The benefits to joining a supportive peer network are invaluable in one’s career, and for social entrepreneurs, that supportive network means more opportunity to create lasting change. Read more about our first class of Scholarship recipients here.

Let’s #PaveAPath together.