Building Sustainable Neighborhood Economies


Innovation Works supports neighborhood economic development through the heroic efforts of social entrepreneurs leading impact driven enterprises throughout the city. Innovation Works’ five-step social enterprise development process is designed to support each social entrepreneur through the full lifecycle of the entrepreneurship journey, allowing leaders to come into the development cycle at any stage.


IW Stages of Social Entrepreneur Development



IGNITE by IW partners with trusted community anchors (Ignite Hubs) to build a network of long-term entrepreneur development hubs at a neighborhood level. Through Ignite Hubs, IW delivers social enterprise programming that ignites and develops local interest and capacity to transform neighborhood economies.

Are you a community resident or an early stage entrepreneur with an idea that you would like to explore?

Are you a community-based organization seeking more resources to support entrepreneurs in your neighborhood?




IW’s Ideate stage employs design thinking methodology to support emerging social entrepreneurs in imagining solutions to critical quality of life and economic prosperity challenges. Ultimately, emerging entrepreneurs will be able to hone in on the unique needs of the community and discover viable business opportunities.

Are you an early stage entrepreneur seeking support to refine your business model?




IW’s Create stage supports the launch of new and already established nonprofits, businesses, and hybrid entities by equipping them with the resources necessary to build measurable and sustainable social impact business models. This includes the support and guidance from matched long-term mentors, Innovation Works team, and the Miller Center’s robust set of resources. The IW Boost Program is one key element of the Create stage.

Are you an early stage or established entity seeking support to build a measurable and sustainable social impact business model?




IW’s Grow stage supports emerging or established social enterprises seeking to become sustainable place-based or scalable social enterprises. Enterprises go through a disciplined process to implement the social impact business model, market validation, adapt, and prepare for long-term financing to grow the enterprise and create jobs.

Are you an emerging or established social enterprise seeking to grow or scale a place-based or scalable business?




IW’s Scale stage identifies and supports social enterprise models seeking to scale beyond the local market, while maintaining operations in Baltimore to continue supporting local neighborhood economies and creating jobs.

Are you an established social enterprise model seeking to scale beyond the local market?

Mentor Reception, November 19th, 2018

Mentor Reception, November 19th, 2018


The Mentor represents IW’s essential accompaniment and support resource for entrepreneurs participating in IW programming. Mentors bring strong business skills and values-driven coaching in alignment with IW’s mission.  Mentors work closely with entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity and advance their social impact and business objectives. IW mentors are highly flexible in that they are responsive to the unique needs and opportunities of each relationship. With access to the Miller Center global network and platform, IW mentors are able to provide tailored, long-term support to entrepreneurs.

Find out more information about the mentoring network, explore the volunteer mentor description and expectations. Learn more about the accomplished individuals who currently serve as mentors.