Tailored Social Enterprise Support

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With our 5-stage Enterprise Development Pipeline, we meet social entrepreneurs and their enterprises where they are and support them through the full lifecycle of the entrepreneurship journey.

colorful pipeline of the entrepreneurship journey

The number 1 in yellowIgnite

Ignite sets the tone for the entrepreneurship journey by building an Impact Model through the Theory of Change framework that serves as the foundation of the social enterprise.

The number two in the Innovation Works brand colors: teal, orange, yellow, corralIdeate

Ideate supports emerging social entrepreneurs by focussing on creating a sustainable lean business model around their intended social impact.

The number three in the Innovation Works brand colors: teal, orange, yellow, corral CREATE

Create equips newly-operating social entrepreneurs with mission-driven business fundamentals so they can effectively guide their operations and growth.

The number four in the Innovation Works brand colors: teal, orange, yellow, corral GROW

Grow provides the social enterprise discipline needed to implement, market validate, adjust and grow the social enterprise into a place-based or scalable business and job creator.

The number five in the Innovation Works brand colors: teal, orange, yellow, corral SCALE

Scale identifies social enterprises that can grow beyond a local market and prepares them for scalable capital investment and accelerated growth.

Avenues of support within the pipeline

1. Programs & Curriculum

IW provides SEs with curriculum developed with the help of our partners at Miller Center. Programs support SEs in the later stages of the pipeline with enterprise development curriculum in the form of structured modules, a timeline with concrete deliverables, and a cohort of SEs and Mentors to work alongside. SEs in all stages of the pipeline are also able to receive asynchronous curriculum support that addresses the challenges facing their enterprise.

Stage 3: CREATE

IW+MC Boost

The Boost program packs core business lessons into a powerful four-day workshop to help local, established nonprofit, for-profit and hybrid social enterprise leaders learn business fundamentals, improve their strategic thinking, and articulate a business plan that demonstrates impact, growth, and long-term financial sustainability.

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Stage 4: GROW

IW+MC Accelerator

Our accelerator delves into eight core social enterprise business modules over a period of about six months. The goal is to help social enterprise leaders in Baltimore hone in on key aspects of their business and develop a solid growth strategy that demonstrates an increase in their enterprise’s social impact and a plan for long-term financial sustainability.

All Stages

Asynchronous Curriculum

Outside of structured programming, SEs can work through our IW+MC curriculum asynchronously with the help of IW mentors. We work with each SE to tailor support to their unique needs in order to ensure they are receiving resources that directly address the challenges they are facing in their enterprise.

2. Mentorship

IW’s Mentor Network is a diverse group of accomplished leaders with the common goal of sharing their expertise with the next generation of Baltimore entrepreneurs.

Mentors provide support to social entrepreneurs through one of the following advisory roles:

Enterprise Advisor

Mentor commits to a long-term relationship with a specific social enterprise.

Domain Advisor

Mentor provides unique professional support to multiple social enterprises in the mentor’s area of expertise.

Curriculum Advisor

Mentor participates in IW programs such as our 4-day Boost workshop and our 6-month accelerator.

Strategic Initiatives Advisor

Mentor supports IW and advises various organizational initiatives and strategies for future growth.

Investment Advisor

Mentor supports Ignite Capital in their pre- and post-investment review process, and mentors SEs receiving Ignite Capital funding.

logo for Ignite Capital

3. Access to Capital

IW’s subsidiary impact fund, Ignite Capital, addresses Baltimore’s critical gap in access to capital necessary to lead and grow sustainable enterprises.


Ignite Capital is a social impact fund with the mission to:

Accompany social enterprises

in economically distressed communities through access to resources.

Support the Overall Efforts

of these social enterprises to attract future investments in support of their mission.

Contribute to Ongoing Efforts

in ensuring Baltimore neighborhoods are thriving sustainably.

Interested in joining the IW Pipeline?
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