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The REDF Accelerator brings together a cohort of talented social enterprise leaders who are using the transitional employment model to help their employees overcome barriers to employment and successfully transition into competitive, long-term employment. In partnership with the Points of Light Civic Accelerator, fellows receive expert guidance on core business competencies, employee support programs, and the opportunity to build a network of their peers. To learn about the experience of being part of the Accelerator, click here to read blogs written by alumni.

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Curriculum & Outcomes
The REDF Accelerator core curriculum will focus on the following key areas:
  • Marketing, messaging & communication
  • Strategic planning & operations
  • Financial planning
  • Leadership skills & coaching others
  • Employee supports & workforce development

 The Accelerator will also equip participants with the tools to:

  • Better diagnose and overcome organizational challenges by applying a “growth mindset” approach
  • Improve strategic thinking and planning skills
  • Pitch for funding more effectively
  • Learn how to better identify and test assumptions
  • Create a vision of impact to better align and execute on strategy
  • Decrease “burn-out”
  • Expand both local and national professional networks

 
Funding
By completing the REDF Accelerator, an enterprise becomes eligible to apply for REDF’s strategic grant funding. These one-year strategic grants or recoverable funding allocations typically range between $10K - $40K. However, participation in the accelerator does not qualify the enterprise for funding through REDF.
 

Program Schedule

June 12, 2017 Application Opens
July 24, 2017 Application Closes
August, 2017 Follow-up with Applicants (as needed)
September, 2017 Selected Applicants Notified
October 25 – 28, 2017 Session 1 | Chicago
February 7 – 10, 2018 Session 2 | San Francisco
May 2 – 5, 2018 Session 3 | Baltimore

Selection Criteria
To apply, the applicant and enterprise must meet the following criteria. If after reviewing this list, you still have questions about whether you are eligible, please contact us at accelerator@redf.org.
 
Applicant​​​​​​

  • Must be the operating head of an employment-focused social enterprise and have full decision-making authority over the enterprise.
  • Willing to provide key data to REDF during and after the conclusion of the accelerator program. (This includes completion of the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative annual survey.)
  • Must be a REDFworkshop.org member. Not a member yet? Register here. (Membership is free and you’ll get information throughout the year about webinars and gatherings REDF hosts.)
Enterprise
  • Can be a “stand-alone” enterprise or exist as a program that is part of a larger, parent agency.
  • Is in early or growth stage - must be revenue-generating and revenue should be between $25K - $1M per year. If revenue is above or below this range, please explain. For example:
    • 1) Revenue is currently $12K/year but there are active contracts that will bring the enterprise to $40K this fiscal year.

      2) Revenue is currently $1.2M/year, operating costs are high and the programmatic side of the enterprise is struggling since it lacks expertise in employee supports and workforce development.

  • Currently employs, or seek to employ, REDF’s target population and pays wages that meet local minimum wage standards through a transitional jobs model.
  • Located, and legally able to operate in the United States.
REDF will be evaluating applications on the following criteria:
  • Mission Alignment | The strategic vision and mission is aligned with REDF’s priority to support social enterprises that provide transitional employment for those with barriers to employment.
  • Leadership Fit | Demonstrated interest in being an active cohort participant to learn from, share with, and teach others.
  • Growth Plan Fit | The growth plan is clear, comprehensive and realistic while offering a compelling vision based on feasibility, market need and job-type fit for the population served.
  • Organizational Capacity | The enterprise is in an overall strong position – both operationally and financially – to build on what already exists and with the right support and resources, grow over the next 2-5 years.

 
Requirements
Sessions REDF will provide accommodations and most meals for the duration of the in-person sessions:

- Chicago, IL | October 25 – 28, 2017
- San Francisco, CA | February 7 – 10, 2018
- Baltimore, MD | May 2 – 5, 2018
 
Commitment Required | Fellows will be expected to sign a contract agreeing to the following terms:

  • Attendance at all sessions, including virtual. Note: all fellows must arrive the night before the start of each session.
  • Completion of all data-gathering surveys from both REDF and the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative.
  • Travel to and from each session. (A limited number of travel stipends are available – to be considered, complete the optional travel burden question in the application).

Still have questions? Here’s a few more resources: