Echoing Green invites applications for its fellowship program to provide seed funding to social entrepreneurs launching bold new organizations to create positive systemic change.
It operates where intersectional justice and social innovation meet. The Fellowship funds and supports proximate leaders who are advancing racial justice and upending structural oppression globally and prioritize the leadership of Black, Indigenous; and other leaders of color.
Echoing Green’s Fellowship is for people whose enterprises are at an early stage and who are experts on the challenge they’ve chosen to confront. And as people who are directly impacted by systems of oppression, these leaders also bring the expertise of lived experience into their work as they co-design solutions with and for their communities.
Every fellow gets their proven support model
- Leadership Development
- Personalized Framework: A comprehensive program to build and grow leadership skills and develop the strategies needed for ideas to thrive.
- Wellbeing Support: Ongoing support focusing on mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as self-care workshops designed specifically for the struggles of entrepreneurship.
- Seed Resources
- Leader Support: A portfolio team facilitates the Fellow experience and connects these leaders to experts and opportunities according to their needs.
- Seed Funding: A stipend over 18 months (80,000 USD). Funding offered to for-profit organizations is in the form of recoverable grants.
- Community Support
- Retreats and Networking Events: Gatherings to connect Fellows across classes and cohorts, as well as with experienced business leaders, institutions, and investors committed to solving global issues.
- Expert Partners: A suite of pro-bono support from leading professionals to build organizational capacity and help navigate the social entrepreneurship field.
What They Look For in Applicants
- Leadership Skills
- You have the ability to drive ideas forward, build support for your vision, and lead an organization toward its goals.
- Purpose Alignment
- You can demonstrate a deep conviction and passion for the issue you are committed to addressing. You can also illustrate your dedication to solving the problem will not waiver even if your organization’s form shifts over time.
- Relationship to and Expertise on the Issue
- Social innovators who are closest to their communities possess the ideas and authenticity to affect the greatest change — your proximity is one of your most significant assets. You can showcase an understanding of root causes and your relationship with the community impacted by the issue you are addressing.
What They Look For in Organizations
- Your organization seeks to bring about dramatic, not just incremental, change. You can communicate how your organization builds upon or makes improvements to an existing model or introduces an innovation into a new context.
- Changing Systems
- Social innovators know that big problems require audacious thinking, even when the solution is simple. You can define how your solution can directly impact many lives, shift a community’s trajectory, or change a system and structures.
- Racial Equity
- Racial equity is an end-state that requires ongoing actions to build a world where all people have equal opportunity and resources to thrive. Your organization centers racial equity in its work, repositions communities of color in relation to power and resources, and emphasizes transformative solutions that impact multiple systems. To achieve your mission you center the knowledge, visions, and prioritization of the leadership of people most impacted by structural racism.
- Applicant eligibility
- You must be over 18 years old, fluent in English, and able to commit full-time to your organization. If you are currently a full-time student or employee, you must agree to make your organization your full-time engagement if awarded a Fellowship.
- You must be the primary decision-maker and have ultimate authority over the growth and strategic vision of your organization.
- You do not need to be based in the United States or be an American citizen. Echoing Green does not sponsor American work permits for any foreign nationals.
- You are welcome to reapply in future cycles if you do not receive a fellowship.
- Organizational Eligibility
- The organization must be the original idea of the applicant, in its start-up phase, and independent and autonomous.
- An organization can be structured as a nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid.
- An organization does not only have to be run by one individual, but only a single applicant is eligible to apply for an Echoing Green fellowship starting in 2021.
- Organizations still in the idea phase are eligible. You do not need to establish 501(c)(3) status or register your organization before you apply.
- The organization must be independent and autonomous. It cannot be under the management of another organization. If you have a fiscal sponsor that provides support but does not control organization decisions, you are eligible.
- No members of an organization’s founding team and no individuals in a leadership position at the organization can already have been awarded an Echoing Green Fellowship.
- Tuition or scholarship funding, or research projects; lobbying or faith-based organizations; and existing organizations that have grown past their start-up phase are not eligible to apply.
For more information, visit https://echoinggreen.org/fellowship/apply/