Tag Archives: resources

5 Ways to Get Support for Your Social Business

Courage and a healthy disregard for the word “impossible” are the fuel of dreamers and idea creators. But once you’ve conjured up that 100 million dollar idea, how do you get to the crucial part… resources? While getting funding and building a clientele list that can support your idea, that investment capital will be instrumental in whether you toss that idea onto the pile of experience or take that idea all the way to the bank.

Naturally, seeking out venture capital firms, crowdsourcing and dipping into your savings to keep your business or organization afloat are all ways to finance that next business venture. However, investment capital often extends beyond how much cash you’ve got behind you. Listed below are just a handful of places to get the resources you need to grow beyond your favorite dreaming chair.

1. The TED Fellows Program

Known for the quickest way to learn something new, interesting, or enlightening, the masterminds behind TED offer a fellowship program that grants selectees exclusive access to the visionaries that keep TED relevant and rich.

Photo courtesy: TED
Photo courtesy: TED

2. Ashoka Fellows

Leading the development of social entrepreneurship, Ashoka provides the social impact community with a variety of resources. Among them is the Ashoka Fellowship program that, after a rigorous selection process, provides a stipend to truly innovative changemakers to help them focus entirely on bringing their idea to fruition.

Photo: Ashoka Foundation
Photo: Ashoka Foundation

 

3. SOCAP Conference

Hosted on an annual basis in San Francisco, California, the purpose driven conference brings together the greatest minds in social business. With an impressive list of attendees and speakers, SOCAP will expand your network and maybe feed that insatiable dream machine that’s leading the development of your company.

Photo: SOCAP 2015
Photo: SOCAP 2015

4. The Grameen Creative Lab

Known by it’s initial mission of eradicating poverty through microfinance, the Grameen Creative Lab is leading the way to formalize the social business sector by building awareness, investing resources in social businesses, and providing guidance for those who are looking to make their business social.

Photo: Grameen Creative Lab
Photo: Grameen Creative Lab

5. USAID Global Development Lab

Responding to the rapidly changing needs of the developing world, USAID recently launched the Global Development Lab to harness the creativity of social innovators to address the needs their field teams are facing. Pick a focus area on their needs list and submit your idea on how to solve their global problem.

Photo: USAID Global Development Lab
Photo: USAID Global Development Lab

 

This is by no mean an exhaustive list. If your favorite resource is not listed above, leave a note in the comments below so we can incorporate them into the next resource list. Disagree with any of the listed resources? Tell us why in the comments below.

 

Top 5 Lessons from Millennial Takeover Interviews

http://bit.ly/1CS9U75
http://bit.ly/1CS9U75

For the past 6 months I’ve been collecting interviews from millennial leaders from around the world. And while each one has been working on something drastically different, their insights have a lot in common. Inspired by the work that they do, here is my list of the top 5 lessons I’ve learned from the millennials I’ve interviewed so far.

1. Stop dragging your feet and go for it.

You could wait until the timing is right, but that may never come. The sooner you start working on pursuing your passion project, the sooner you’ll know if you’ve got a great idea. Not a single person interviewed has regretted the decision to take that leap of faith, so chance are you won’t either.

2. This is hard work… but it’s totally doable.

Most of these millennial leaders have been clawing their way to grow their ideas into actual entities. That has come from many late nights, weekend long work sessions, and a commitment to see the project through.
3. Don’t forget about your greatest asset, your sanity.

The whole purpose of building out your idea is so that you can be happy. When you are pushing yourself (and your support system) to focus solely on the development of this project so you stop sleeping regularly or eating, you are on a one way train to a breakdown. Those are never pretty and often damage more than you’d ever imagine. So get that sleep, get to that work out because if you aren’t on your A game, then your company/organization/project won’t be either.

4. You are not alone.

While the rest of your friends are hitting up happy hour after work or have an established routine, starting out on your own can feel isolating. Your schedule is designed to squeeze every minute out of it so you can be productive while their’s are structured and predictable.

Finding a community of fellow entrepreneurs is critical to remind you that you are on the right track and that you’ve totally got this.

5. Put your “why” at the center of everything that you do.

You will face set backs and obstacles, it’s an inevitable part of life. But if you put your “why am I doing this” at the center of everything you do, you’ll be motivated to keep pushing and keep creating.

I have gained so much insight from the millennials I’ve interviewed so far and I hope that you have gained a little insight from them as well.

Until next week!

Cornerstone Investments for Central Florida’s Start up Community

Since returning to my hometown of Orlando, I have been trying to check out all of the resources available to startups and enterprising individuals. Earlier this week, I participated in the Melrose Center’s General Orientation to gain access to their video editing resources and what I found literally blew my mind. Made possible by an extremely generous donation by Dorothy Lumley Melrose and her family, the Orange County Library in Downtown Orlando was able to build a $1 million tech facility for it’s patrons.

From the second you step onto the second floor, you are drawn to the smiling face of Dorothy Lumley Melrose and the inviting glass wall behind her. Once you step through the glass doors to the 26,000 square foot space, you forget that you are in a library and get the bug to build something. With your Orange County Library Card, or for a small fee, members have access to a live recording studio, a professional television studio with green screen, sound booth equipment, a photo studio, an impressive array of classes, a simulation room, and, my personal favorite, a 12ft by 8ft interactive media wall.

Although the specifics of what they offer is impressive, the fact that all of it is free (aside from the conference room) is game changing for startups in the area. Equipment and collaboration space are some of the highest barriers to entry when starting a business. Having free access to both? It’s a life saver. This access, in addition to a GoFundMe campaign to address Orlando’s seed fund problem, are crucial pieces building explosive growth in Downtown Orlando’s startup sector.

Are there any other tools that you believe are necessary to build a thriving startup community? Do you know of any other areas that I should feature on my quest to find some of the best resources for entrepreneurs? Post in the comments below or email me directly at marissa@millennialtakeover.com.

Want to help build Orlando’s Startup community? Donate:

For access to equipment and classes, the Friends of the Orange County Library provide financial support to make it happen.

To provide critical seed funding for Orlando startups, go here.

Top 5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Next Big Adventure

When I finally decided to pack my bags and move to Haiti, I didn’t just hop on a plane and wing it. I tried to be strategic enough to avoid hang ups while still keeping some available space for spontaneity. If you are considering on making the big move, especially a foreign country here are some helpful tips to save yourself some major headaches. 

ForiegnMoney
Photo Credit: epSos .de

1. Have enough money saved to pay your obligations. I have some pretty hefty student loan debt and while I often opt for the fun life adventure instead of becoming debt free in 3 years, I always, always, ALWAYS pay my loans. When I took the leap of faith, I made sure I had at least enough money to cover my loan payments for the next three months. You don’t want to be visiting your family on a break to then have the uncomfortable conversation as to why collections has been calling them.

AsiaFarmerPhone
Photo Credit: Ken Banks

2. Contact as many people you know there as possible, even if it is one person. Arriving in a foreign country with a month’s worth of stuff with no one to meet you or a plan, can leave you extremely vulnerable (more on how I learned that another time). Even if you don’t stay with this person, having a friendly face that you can communicate with upon your arrival will ease the already present anxiety. If you are looking for a job, this becomes extremely important as your contact can help you navigate the hiring system and maybe even help you network.

Passports
Photo Credit: J Aaron Farr

3. If you are going abroad, make sure your passport does not expire for at least 3 months. Most countries won’t let you through the airport if your passport is set to expire in three months so save yourself the flight change fees and up date your passport. Also make a copy of that first page. In the countries I’ve visited, a form of identification is needed to buy cellphones, change money, etc. Reduce the risk of losing your passport by carrying a printout, and it will save you time in case you need to replace your passport.

Photo Credit: JannRiik
Photo Credit: JannRiik

4. Give yourself permission to enjoy some of your favorite things. Moving to another country, city, or state will mean that you won’t have the same access to your favorite things. When you have one of those days where you the cashier gets frustrated with your thick American accent, or the power goes out while you were writing the longest email of your life on a desktop, an overpriced tub of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food may be the thing you need to keep you sane. You already get the gold star for taking the leap, so be kind to yourself and pay extra attention to self care. For me, reading books (thank you, Kindle), watching movies (thank you, Netflix), or “Hanging out” with a friend or two (thank you, Google) were my life savers.

Journals
Photo credit: Wen Long

5. Keep a journal, not only to help you remember the cool things you did 10 years from now, but to off load whatever you don’t feel like sharing out loud. It doesn’t even have to be full sentences, it can even be ticket stubs or business cards. There are a lot of changes that you’ll be experiencing so keeping track of them will help you track the progress you’ve made.

Keeping things open ended and keeping a positive attitude will help you bounce back from those days that just don’t go your way. Now get back to packing, your adventure awaits.

Leaving everything you know to embark on an adventure or just came back from one? Share your top tips for how you made it through.