Looking for examples of social entrepreneurship to inspire your own work? Each month we feature five nonprofits in the Stand Together Foundation network that represent the best in social innovation.
The Stand Together Foundation community comprises some of the nation’s most effective social entrepreneurs. Instead of looking for one-size-fits-all solutions to address challenges in their communities, they look to the community members who are closest to each issue to generate new ideas. Instead of simply managing the symptoms of problems like poverty, addiction, and mass incarceration, they ask big questions and take healthy risks to get at the root causes.
In other words, these social entrepreneurs aren’t content with the status quo. They’re committed to empowering individuals around them and transforming lives one at a time.
There are more than 4.5 million absent fathers in the U.S. today. What would families look like if we directly invested in the success of fathers, instead of expecting them to fail? That’s the innovative question that inspired Father’ Uplift, the country’s first mental health and substance abuse facility that focuses on fathers and their families.
By empowering fathers to overcome the barriers they face, Fathers’ UpLift keeps them engaged in their children’s lives, instead of removing them from the equation. From counseling, to coaching, to advocacy, every father in the program gets personalized support and wraparound services to become a better caretaker.
Leap to Success
Leap to Success believes in the potential of every woman, particularly those who have overcome domestic violence, homelessness, and other major life challenges. Recognizing that domestic violence victims face a long road to build self-confidence, Leap to Success was founded on best practices in therapy, coaching, and business training to help women turn adversity into strength. Every participant in the program is given the opportunity to develop new habits, confidence, and leadership skills.
Our House is more than a shelter; it’s a proven pathway out of homelessness. Instead of only addressing the short-term needs of people and families, their team focuses on long-term opportunities: building skills, resources, and confidence.
At Our House, homeless and near-homeless individuals in central Arkansas have access to a full suite of services to achieve their most ambitious goals. From career support, to early child development, to mental health support, residents are given a safe place to live while building a foundation for the future.
The Telos Group
The Telos Group believes that strong communities depend on individuals who can connect across their differences. Their entrepreneurial insight is that society is better off when we embrace complexity, instead of forcing simplicity.
Telos hosts immersive trips in areas experiencing conflict, transforming participants into peacemakers who can take their new perspectives back home. Ultimately, they hope to replace violence, division, and distrust with empathy and collective action.
WeThrive knows that young people of color and low-income students have been underestimated for most of their lives. That’s why they focus on unlocking new opportunities for individuals to discover their entrepreneurial interests and develop new skills.
Instead of fostering a spirit of competition among participants, WeThrive gives every entrepreneur access to seed funding and support. They provide mentorship, connections, and online curricula that enable young people to dream big—and then turn those dreams into real businesses.