NEW YORK, June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today Echoing Green announced its 2014 class of Fellows including Global, Black Male Achievement and Climate Fellows. From JustLeadershipUSA’sambitious proposal to reduce crime and cut the U.S. prison population in half by 2030 to ATLAS: DIY’s focus on incubation spaces providing free legal resources as well as career, college prep and arts enrichment for undocumented immigrant youth, this year’s class represents the next generation of social entrepreneurs. These individuals are poised to become household names by inventing new solutions to address the world’s biggest problems. A collective total of $3.8 million in seed funding will be granted, representing the largest-ever class of Echoing Green Fellows.
The 2014 Fellows will receive comprehensive support as they launch organizations around the world, including seed funding, health insurance, skill-building and organizational training, leadership development gatherings, mentorship, opportunities to learn from a global community of social innovators, and more. The 55 Fellows who are leading 42 organizations were selected from an original pool of 2,875 applications—representing a selection rate of less than two percent. The Fellowship selection process involves more than 400 expert evaluators over the course of six months.
“Over time Echoing Green has powerfully provided a pipeline of support to the next wave of innovators,” said Dr. Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green. “We focus on early stage investment because of the high social impact that can come from backing these visionaries from the start. From identifying future leaders to helping them nurture their ideas to preparing them for long-term success, Echoing Green is making change possible on a global scale.”
The 2014 class of Echoing Green Fellows are on the forefront of promising ideas for social change. Here are the trends from this class that apply to larger global movements:
- Growing interest in social entrepreneurship: Echoing Green received 2,875 applications for the 2014 Fellowships—all of the selected Fellows are addressing issues that affect their communities through a common desire to build a more just, peaceful world.
- Creating global reach: More than 120 countries were represented in the application process; 2014 Fellowship organizations are working in 33 countries; and 75 percent of the Fellowship organizations are largely working outside of the U.S., including the first two Fellowship organizations—Koe Koe Tech and Fortify Rights—working in the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar, considered to have one of the lowest levels of human development in the world according to the 2013 Human Development Index.
- Mounting attention on impact investing: 40 percent of this year’s Fellowship organizations are for-profit or hybrid social enterprises. They will be supported to tap into the burgeoning field of impact investors. This includes PRIME Coalition, a member-based organization that connects philanthropists and family offices to high-risk, high-reward investment opportunities that address climate change.
- Millennials leading social change: 18-year-old Kenyan Tom Osborn is the founder of GreenChar, a clean charcoal provider, and the youngest-ever Echoing Green Fellow. Further, the average age of the 2014 Fellows is just 30 years old.
- Bringing sustainability to the forefront: The introduction of the Climate Fellowship reflects a broader awareness of issues pertaining to sustainability, including Oroeco, an app that tracks people’s climate impact and rewards positive action, through the use of real-time financial data to suggest improvements and leverages users’ social networks to foster team collaboration and encourage competition for rewards.
- Expanding diversity: 46 percent of this year’s class of Fellows are women; 70 percent of the Black Male Achievement Fellows—dedicated to improving the life outcomes of black men and boys in the U.S.—are women. Further, 27 percent of our 2014 Fellows identify as African, African-American or Black, 20 percent identify as Asian and Asian-American, and 4 percent identify as Latin American, Latino or Hispanic.
“This class of Fellows represents the most diversified and global group of recipients. We are seeing social innovation becoming a global youth movement,” said David C. Hodgson, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Echoing Green and Managing Director of General Atlantic. “Fifteen years ago social entrepreneurship wasn’t on the radar, but over time it has entered popular consciousness as a solution to the issues that face our society.”
For the past 27 years, Echoing Green has fostered social entrepreneurship through its Global Fellowship program, helping to launch such notable organizations as Teach For America, One Acre Fund, and SKS Microfinance. This year, the Black Male Achievement Fellows make up the third annual class, supported by the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement. 2014 also marks the launch of the Climate Fellowship, developed in partnership with The ZOOM Foundation. Echoing Green is also supported by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, which committed $5 million to underwrite a portion of the 2014 Global Fellows, as well as a portion of Global Fellows through the class of 2017.
Yesterday, at a White House roundtable on impact investing, Echoing Green and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the first class of Global Fellows supported by a four-year, $4 million public-private partnership as one of many commitments to expand impact investment opportunities. The 2014 class of Global Fellows is the first of two classes supported by a Global Development Alliance between USAID and General Atlantic, Newman’s Own Foundation, The Pershing Square Foundation, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. This shared-value partnership demonstrates U.S. Government investment and commitment to the expanding field of social entrepreneurship by both seeding a pipeline of social entrepreneurs and fostering the growth of social entrepreneurship ecosystems around the world. Often catalyzed by impact investing, social entrepreneurship and innovationn are proven economic drivers that help create jobs and reduce poverty through sustainable market-based solutions.
About Echoing Green: Echoing Green unleashes next generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. Founded in 1987 by global growth equity firm General Atlantic, Echoing Green has invested over $33 million in seed funding in nearly 600 social entrepreneurs (Echoing Green Fellows) and their innovative organizations across the globe. Recognized Echoing Green Fellows include the founders of City Year, Disability Rights International, College Summit, and The Global Fund for Children. Through its Fellowship programs, Echoing Green actively supports over 100 social entrepreneurs to accelerate the impact of their ventures.
In addition to its Fellowship program, Echoing Green also supports the Work on Purpose program to inspire and equip those in the first decade of their careers to realize their unique way to make a social impact, the Social Investment Council to embolden emerging business leaders to drive social change and Impact Investing program to grow investments in double- and triple-bottom line enterprises. For more information, visit www.echoinggreen.org.