By Carolyn M. Brown –Blackenterprise.com
There has been an increase in the number of people starting for-profit social enterprises. Also, a growing number of organizations are out there providing seed money to help budding social entrepreneurs grow their startups.
A new program is underway to help selected entrepreneurs incorporate big company skills and knowledge into the scaling of some of the world’s most innovative organizations. The 12-month program is designed to support entrepreneurs, leading organizations on the cusp of achieving significant scale, with high-level mentorship, peer-learning and capital to fund key initiatives of the scholar’s choosing. The program is part of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values, and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
The program is made possible thanks to the generosity of Aspen trustee, Rick Braddock. “Entrepreneurs are great at starting businesses that solve important problems in new ways, but aren’t always effective at significantly scaling these innovations, and much of the value creation comes from scaling. Many of the skills to do this come from spending time in big companies,” Braddock said in a statement. “We aim to bridge the ‘scaling gap’ by channeling the expertise of our mentors towards the challenges our scholars face.”
“The Aspen Institute can support selected scholars – who are leading entrepreneurs in their own right – thanks to the many business leaders associated with the institute who have agreed to serve as mentors,” added Eric Lavin, manager of the Braddock Scholars Program. “Additionally, the Institute’s long track record of facilitating high-impact peer-learning experiences, and ability to convene leaders tackling big issues positions us to be a catalytic force in helping scale social enterprises.”
The Braddock Scholars program is open to U.S. based members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN). The Braddock Scholars Program is a mentorship initiative that pairs select U.S.-based members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network with seasoned global business leaders.
The Aspen Global Leadership Network is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government, and the nonprofit sector — currently, more than 2,100 fellows from 49 countries — who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, Central America, India, the Middle East and China.