The Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) has pulled from the brimming entrepreneurial talents of the City of Atlanta to welcome an inaugural class to its Civic Innovation Fellowship. The six-month program will provide leadership and business development resources to eight early-stage social entrepreneurs chasing outcome-driven ideas for civic impact.
“This class of fellows, our first, is very unique,” says Rohit Malhotra, founder and executive director of the Center for Civic Innovation. “These are people who are not doing this work because there is a fellowship. They’ve been doing it and in many ways against all odds. In Atlanta, if you’re a social entrepreneur, you often have to be a nonprofit and at a certain predetermined standard to be eligible for capital and support. So if you’re an early stage entrepreneur in Atlanta, you’re almost on your own. At the very least, we are telling these people that we got their back and will pour All the same love and support that we give entrepreneurs in other sectors.”
As startup leaders and entrepreneurs, knowing how to grow your business and expand beyond your initial goals can be difficult, but this program provides space and resources for the fellows to find their footing.
“Social impact businesses are just like any other, except their success is determined by both financial and social outcomes,” says Malhotra. “They create jobs, they bring capital into the communities they’re in, many of them pay taxes, and most importantly, they are solving problems that save our city a ton of money in the long run.”
The fellows, all with businesses that can have a strong social impact in the community, include, Alexander Acosta, Soul Food Cypher; Joshua Brown, The Center for Children with Incarcerated Parents of America; Monica Campana, Living Walls, The City Speaks; Rutu Chaudhari, The Dharma Project; Marian Liou, We Love BuHi; Reginald Maisonneuve, eDea, LLC; Jeffrey Martín, honorCode; and Susanna Spiccia, re:imagine/ATL.
The Center for Civic Innovation encourages local institutions and communities to participate and engage with the city’s current issues and tackle them with effective solutions. This inaugural group of fellows represents a very diverse group — all from different backgrounds and businesses. “Inclusion is really what we strive for. We want our programs to reflect the world we live in,” says Malhotra.
Find out more about the fellows, how to support them and upcoming events on CCI’s site.