Community Entrepreneurship Accelerator

Community Entrepreneurship Accelerator

NOW RECRUITING FOR OUR 2020 COHORT!

Achieving inclusive economic growth within a city requires dedicated effort and sustained commitment. To accelerate and sustain this effort, Forward Cities is launching its next cohort of Community Entrepreneurship Accelerators within a select number of member cities. Our Community Entrepreneurship Accelerator is a local capacity-building engagement uniquely centered at the cross-section of economic development, community development and business development.

LONG-TERM IMPACT. SHORT-TERM GAINS.

Through our 2-year accelerator process, we help local coalitions of community partners, entrepreneurs and economic development stakeholders co-create and implement strategies that lower barriers to access and participation in their entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our work follows a human-centered design approach, is guided by city-specific research and evaluation, and utilizes storytelling and shared learning to amplify the impact.

 

Accelerator Phases:

PHASE 1: DISCOVER | 3 Mo

We hire and train a Local Director and work with a local cross-sector council to understand and map the local entrepreneurial ecosystem through multiple lenses, emerging key assets and barriers related to equitable participation.

DISCOVER MILESTONES
  1. Hire a Local Director to serve the role of ecosystem builder and project manager
  2. Listen – Convene local entrepreneurs and stakeholders at a central event to understand their perspectives
  3. Connect – Form a diverse cross-sector council of interested local leaders
  4. Research – Map the local inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem and gather relevant data input from a variety of sources
PHASE 2: DESIGN | 3 MO

With guidance from the Forward Cities team, the Local Director works with a the local council to select and/or design asset-based solutions to improve the efficacy of the inclusive ecosystem, directly addressing barriers to entrepreneurial starts and growth.

DESIGN MILESTONES
  1. Align – Identify and leverage local assets/existing efforts and national best practices
  2. Locate – Determine the most effective geographic scale and location of efforts for greatest impact
  3. Plan – Emerge asset-based, high-potential, high-impact initiatives to address emerged barriers
  4. Socialize – Engage entrepreneurs and community throughout the development of solutions
PHASE 3: DELIVER | 18 Mo

We work with local ecosystem partners to implement programmatic and community engagement strategies, scale what works, create a plan for sustainability and share success with the local community and the broader Forward Cities Learning Network. 

DELIVER MILESTONES
  1. Test – Launch and evaluate initiatives in community
  2. Scale – Scale what works, pivoting where necessary for greatest impact
  3. Share – Tell the stories of success in the local community and amplify them through our national media channels. 
  4. Transfer – Transition efforts to local backbone organization(s) and  connect with a national network of other cities and partners to strengthen the work.

 

 

Current Accelerator Cities:

LAUNCH AN ACCELERATOR IN YOUR COMMUNITY!

For additional information about Forward Cities Community Entrepreneurship Accelerators and to
discuss participating in our next cohort, please contact:
Fay Horwitt, VP of Community Innovation
fhorwitt@forwardcities.org

From Our Members

“It was awakening to learn about the current trend of urban renewal going on across the US and not just in our own region. I have a broader perspective of the positive aspects of this trend and am greater able to embrace this change in my own city now.”
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