INTENTIONAL. INCLUSIVE. OPPORTUNITY.
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 or sexual orientation — the amount of change we can create will always be limited. That’s why we created the Pave a Path Fundraiser.
As long as there are social entrepreneurs still facing barriers to opportunity… the amount of change we can create will always be limited.
What is Pave a Path & Why Donate
The Pave a Path Fundraiser is an initiative that helps provide SEA membership scholarships to emerging 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.
Last year, because of community contributions to the Pave a Path Fundraiser, we were able to offer membership scholarships to 10 social entrepreneurs across the country (read stories of their impact below!). Though we are proud to have these social entrepreneurs in the SEA community, we received 115 scholarship applications, meaning over 100 social entrepreneurs had to be turned away.
Last year, we received 115 applications but were only able to offer 10 Pave a Path scholarships to social entrepreneurs, meaning over 100 social entrepreneurs had to be turned away.
This Year, We Want to Do More
The need is clear, and we’re doing everything in our power to contribute to filling it and to invite more social entrepreneurs into this community. This year, our goal is to raise $25,000 by December 31st, and we need your help to get there. Can we count on you?
Donate today, share the campaign with colleagues, family and friends and help us carve pathways for more talented, innovative minds to join this community. Whether you can contribute $5 or $5,000, every cent you give goes toward real people who are creating solutions in our world.
Our goal is to raise $25,000 by December 31st, and we need your help to get there.
What 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 (AbesMeats.com) 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 Pave a Path 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.