Social Enterprise Accelerator Program Now Accepting Applicants


The Center for Social Enterprise Development announced the second of two programs it is implementing to help develop social enterprises in Central Ohio. The previously announced SE Catalyst initiative will help five local nonprofits develop and implement an existing idea for a social enterprise, while SEA Change is aimed at new and growth-stage social enterprises as well as nonprofits.

“As Central Ohio’s hub for social entrepreneurs, CSED facilitates a variety of learning and mentorship opportunities,” says CSED President & CEO Allen Proctor. “SEA Change is an additional resource for new social entrepreneurs seeking intensive learning prior to launching their ventures. It is a natural complement to the eight-month SE Catalyst immersion program we are presenting for local nonprofits.”

SEA Change is an intensive, 12-week program that will start in May and wrap up in July. The curriculum is based on a blended learning program, combining online coursework and weekly meetings to connect businesses with resource providers, funders, innovators, mentors and more. The program looks to provide the coaching, connections and capital to accelerate a social enterprise from concept to successful business.

SEA Change originated in Cleveland where 20 social enterprises have participated in the program over two years. Several of those enterprises have also received funding by pitching their ideas at SEA Change Happen, an event that concludes the accelerator program.

With support from The Columbus FoundationTony R. Wells Foundation, IGS Energy, the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), CauseImpact LLC and more, Columbus’ cohort of businesses will compete for up to $100,000 in social impact investments at a session-ending pitch event. 

Applications are now open for social enterprises interested in participating in the program. Businesses must answer questions like what social or community problem their enterprise is trying to solve, who will benefit, and what metrics will be used to measure impact. Up to 15 businesses will be selected for the cohort, with three to six individuals from each organization working through the program. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 18, 2016 and instructions can be found here.

For more information, visit Contact the Center for Social Enterprise Development at [email protected] or Tally Wolff at [email protected] with additional questions.