Charlotte social entrepreneurs are committed to community improvement through shared knowledge and experience. Local non-profit Queen City Forward provides a hub for social entrepreneurs to flush out business ideas that focus on a social mission. Queen City Forward recognizes the importance of triple-bottom-line businesses in the local community, and fosters the growth and success of these businesses and non-profits through strategic support.
Queen City Forward has three focused initiatives for entrepreneurial improvement in the Charlotte area: Impact3, ImpactU, and Innovation Challenge.
Impact3 is a social innovation accelerator that is dedicated to launching and scaling high-impact, high growth start-ups that incorporate a social mission as part of their core value. Impact3 features a 12-week accelerator program with culmination in an opportunity to showcase their idea in a public forum. The accelerator moves early to mid stage social ventures from growth to launch.
ImpactU is an accelerator program for aspiring college-age entrepreneurs seeking to launch or scale an innovative start-up. This 10-weel summer program is designed for college age entrepreneurs and provides mentorship and coaching from professionals while gaining hands on business development and marketing experience. The program moves young entrepreneurs from the prototype to launch stage and prepares them to pitch at a culminating demo day.
Innovation Challenge: Plenty
The Innovation Challenge: Plenty, Solutions for Hunger is a three-phase initiative to identify critical needs for Charlotte food access and hunger. The program was launched in April and runs through November 2015, with a series of community dialogues and stakeholder discovery sessions in the spring, and an innovation conference and business conference in the fall. The goals of the IC: Plenty is to develop a deep understanding of food insecurity and hunger in the local community. The program will educate the Charlotte region on local hunger challenges while innovating viable entrepreneurial solutions.
Supporting Charlotte Social Entrepreneurs
Queen City Forward offers opportunities to get involved in the Charlotte area through mentorship, sponsorship and donation. The organization is committed to addressing social change through focus on people, planet and profit.