2019 SVC Innovation EntrepreneurThe notion of impact entrepreneurship and impact investing is no longer a novel idea or something that happens on the margins of the financial world. Social Venture Circle (SVC) — a nonprofit membership network that equips entrepreneurs, impact investors, and capacity-builders with connections, resources, and expertise in order to build businesses that drive the NEXT economy — has been leading the way for over 30 years. Founded by the originators and luminaries of socially conscious business, the network continues to attract and empower the leaders, enterprises, and institutions building an economy that is regenerative, equitable, and prosperous for all and seeks to support the next generation of business leaders in their quest to play a role in the NEXT Economy. SVC’s Innovation Entrepreneurs’ Program is an effort to support this next generation of business leaders especially women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color to secure the human and social capital needed to grow their enterprises and expand their impact.

We anticipate selecting up to 12 Innovation Entrepreneurs for the 2019 cohort on October 11.


  • The applicant established their venture with the expressed dual purpose of operating a successful business while driving positive environmental and/or social impact 
  • Environmental and/or social impact is core to the ventures’ business model
  • Business is 1-7 years old and has had revenue for at least one full year
  • Applicant is a founder or CEO in the business
  • Applications are open to entrepreneurs of color with additional focuses on women entrepreneurs of color, young entrepreneurs of color, and LGBTQ-identified entrepreneurs of color.
  • Applicant is not a current member or has not been a member of SVC for the past three years.
  • Applicant agrees to attend SVC’s 2019 conference (November 13-15, Berkeley, CA) Note: Transportation and lodging are not provided, but SVC can facilitate room shares by request if staying on-site.

Program Benefits

  • 2018 SVC Innovation EntrepreneurSVC Membership: Invited entrepreneurs receive two years’ membership in Social Venture Circle (a $2,000 value), providing access to over 500 peer leaders in the impact space. The full list of benefits can be found here.
  • Mentoring and Technical Assistance: SVC will strive to provide access to opportunities that meet the distinct needs of each selected Innovation Entrepreneur. These may include but are not limited to creating targeted mentoring relations with either more seasoned entrepreneurs or with like-minded peers; forming peer networks to allow entrepreneurs to support each other over time; working one-on-one with specialists; and access to resources of leading organizations and networks.
  • SVC Annual Conference: Complimentary attendance at SVC 2019: Welcome to the Next Economy, a convening of 400 peer entrepreneurs, impact investors, and capacity-builders(a $1,595 value). Note: Transportation and lodging are not provided, but SVC can facilitate room shares by request if staying on-site.
  • Contributing to the Impact Field: 2019 Innovation Entrepreneurs will be featured on SVC’s blog and announced to our membership. Additionally, Innovation Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to share their work and have it amplified on SVC’s social channels, membership platform, and website. 

Selection Criteria

A Selection Committee comprised of SVC members will review applications and select the most promising applicants based on a number of key factors:

  • 2018 Innovation EntrepreneurThe entrepreneurs’ motivation and intention for launching their business
  • The entrepreneurs’ knowledge of and experience with their defined communities and community circumstances
  • The entrepreneurs’ demonstrated leadership qualities in balancing social and financial goals
  • The potential of the business to achieve progress in addressing defined impact goals
  • Strength and vision of business leader and management team (if applicable)
  • The innovation of the business model and/or intervention to address the need the venture is serving
  • Opportunity for the Program Benefits to move applicant and applicant’s business to a different stage of success

Program Timeline

  • August 29 – Applications Open
  • September 27 – Application Deadline
  • October 4 – Selection Reviews Due
  • October 11 – Final decisions and notification
  • November 13-15 – SVC’s Annual Conference (Berkeley, CA)

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