There are a plethora of entrepreneurs, business owners, and startups in the Queen City. Many of these companies are on a mission to provide solutions to complex social and environmental challenges. Those companies and businesses sometimes turn to support from social enterprise groups like Flywheel Social Enterprise Hub, a capacity-building organization for startups with social impact in the Greater Cincinnati region.
“Social entrepreneurs build companies that provide solutions to complex social and environmental challenges, either through the products and services they offer or the populations they employ,” says Josie Dalton, Program Manager at Flywheel. “We support these entrepreneurs through programming, resources, and connections to help them develop sustainable business models and maximize their impact.”
One of these ways Flywheel offers support is through its flagship program, the 10-week Elevator Social Impact Accelerator, as well as through workshops and coaching opportunities for early-stage social entrepreneurs throughout the year.
The inspiration behind Flywheel is that they want to help social entrepreneurs find customers, talent, and capital – just as any other entrepreneur needs.
“Flywheel recognized these needs, and developed our programs to connect passionate founders with the rich resources and collaborative partners in the StartupCincy community,” says Dalton. “We’ve also identified the particular challenge of access to capital for social impact startup founders. Seeing this wide gap in access to capital has inspired a new element of our mission: catalyzing a community of investors in the Cincinnati region who will use alternative investment models the fuel the growth of startups that generate both profit and positive impact.”
There are three different ways that the community can get involved with Flywheel:
Social entrepreneurs who are looking for help to build and grow their startup can check out these programs: Opt In Social Enterprise Coaching, workshops, and the Elevator Social Impact Accelerator. Check out the events page (and social media channels) or reach out to josie.dalton@
If you’re a professional looking to lend your expertise and experience to rising social entrepreneurs, Flywheel are always on the hunt for volunteer coaches, workshop facilitators, and content contributors. Fill out the volunteer form or reach out to josie.dalton@
Flywheel just finished its fourth run of the Elevator Social Impact Accelerator and Dalton says the program went well.
“We’re so excited for what’s next,” she says. “Through the spring and summer, we’ll host our programs for early-stage social entrepreneurs including workshops and the Opt In Social Enterprise Coaching on a monthly basis. We’ll also have details to share about the next iteration of the Elevator Accelerator Program and application cycle.”
“We also look forward to developing more opportunities for rising impact investors to learn more about how they can fund startups in this community that will generate both financial return and social impact,” she adds. “Stay tuned!”
To learn more about Flywheel, visit www.flywheelcincinnati.org. If you want to learn more about impact investing, alternative startup financing structures, and how you can be a part of this transformative movement, reach out to bill.tucker@