Empowering Entrepreneurs to Make a Difference
The Initiators Fellowship serves as a launching pad for Greater Minnesota change agents.
The 2020-2021 cohort features seven Fellows selected from a pool of 80 applicants. Each is starting a social enterprise (PDF) venture and lives in one of the the participating Minnesota Initiative Foundation regions.
The 2020-2021 cohort culminates in a December 2021 graduation. The goal is to strengthen each Fellow’s leadership within their respective communities and to support the growth and development of their social enterprise venture.
Becoming a Fellow
Are you an entrepreneur eager to tackle a social challenge?
The Fellowship is designed for idea and early operations stage, high-potential leaders and entrepreneurs who are eager to tackle a social challenge and pursue leadership growth. In addition to an annual $30,000 stipend, Fellows benefit from supportive programming, educational opportunities and a resource-rich ecosystem of experts, including dedicated staff and mentors.
Applicants typically are at an early stage in developing their social enterprise idea. They are in an idea to early implementation stage (in operation for five or less years). Early-stage development means applicants have, at the very least, identified a particular social problem that they feel passionate about addressing and have developed a working theory or model for a potential solution. They may have started testing their idea, and may even have early results, proof of concept or revenue. Ventures may be for-profit or nonprofit. The key is that their operating model has potential for meaningful revenue generation and a path to financial sustainability.
Should I apply?
The Fellowship currently serves 53 Greater Minnesota counties and six native nations. Applicants must live and work within and their social enterprise must serve one of the four participating Minnesota Initiative Foundation regions.
A guiding principle of this program and all the work of the Minnesota Initiative Foundations is that diversity can make our communities stronger when all are welcomed, treated fairly and given the opportunity to contribute their unique gifts.
The Fellowship is fundamentally about supporting and equipping committed Greater Minnesota community members to develop in leadership roles. Leadership can come in many forms, but we imagine that the purpose-driven individuals applying for the Fellowship have aspirations for their communities as well as for their enterprise and are willing to work hard and get involved.
Social enterprise ventures are purpose-driven, for-profit or nonprofit businesses in which profit- and purpose-motives form a double-bottom-line.
The application period for the January 2022 to December 2023 cohort closes at 5 p.m. on July 19.
Have an Idea?
Your Mentor: A Guiding Hand
C-suite skills, talents bring a wealth of support to Fellows