Get Your Great Idea Funded: StartingBloc, the People Incubator

Join an entire community of inspired people through StartingBloc’s fellowship program! The fellowship hosts both entrepreneurs, those creating their own organizations and ventures, and intrapreneurs, those who intend to create change within a company or existing system. Geared mainly toward students and young professionals, StartingBloc is all about personal development. Their focus is on social innovation for early career-minded individuals.

Instead of crowd-sourced funding, grants for starting organizations, and social enterprises, StartingBloc’s focus is on investing and developing people. Once a Fellow, always a Fellow, with ongoing events and support for a lifetime, this is a personal investment in the future. The program begins with accepted Candidates attending the Institute for Social Innovation for education, networking, and inspiration. Truly a learning experience, the curriculum is taught by leading professionals and leverages the organization’s ties to top tier graduate programs. The organization also hosts a variety of workshops, regional events, and even a post-Institution event to keep Fellows connected.

To date, the organization has facilitated the growth of 1,500 Fellows from 53 different countries. Their work focuses on corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and sustainability. These fields are growing exponentially and have been deemed some of the most relevant fields for the success of future generations in an ever-changing business landscape. There are some fees associated with attending the Institute, but StartingBloc provides sponsorship tools and scholarships to make their programs accessible regardless of financial restrictions.

A 2008 Fellow, Alia Whitney-Johnson, founded Emerge Global. This non-profit provides a source of income and trade for girls and young women in Sri Lanka. She was inspired after uncovering the severe gender inequalities and abuse while on a Tsunami-relief trip. A horrifyingly common situation, girls are thrown out of their own homes after becoming pregnant from rape or incest incidents. Alia founded this program to give these girls voices, creativity, confidence, money, and the hope for a more positive future. She has helped over 200 girls through her program and the numbers are growing. Through her Etsy store and donations, the organization continues to thrive.

If this is what just one fellow has been able to accomplish, there is much hope for future fellows. During times of increasing civil unrest, positive programs that recognize the value of human beings and the importance of investing in the whole person become critical for a positive future. StartingBloc is one of many organizations that work to develop people, and help them bring their passions to fruition.

Get Your Great Idea Funded is a series highlighting Foundations, Institutions, and Think Tanks that fund social entrepreneurship to connect the idea-person with funding sources.

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