The objective of the Hunt Institute’s Social Enterprise Program (SEP) is to support innovative early-stage social enterprises. Social enterprises are organizations that are pursuing a social or environmental mission using business methods. Social enterprises are often catalytic innovators who produce disruptive innovations. Social enterprises are also key to directly addressing social needs in under-resourced communities using entrepreneurial strategies. But they face momentous obstacles. SEP provides innovative early-stage social enterprises with a program and toolbox designed to empower them to obtain funding as well as access to a multidisciplinary network of experts and business mentors.
Access to funding for early-stage social enterprises is the single largest obstacle they face. As the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors points out, “For philanthropists accustomed to more traditional grantees, funding social enterprises can feel like entering uncharted territory. Donors might find themselves intrigued by the potential for change, and yet, at the same time, unsure of what to expect in a field where the unexpected is the norm.“
To learn more about the Social Enterprise Program, visit smu.edu/socialenterprise. Check back on this blog to meet our social entrepreneurs and for inspiring stories of high impact social enterprises!
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