The Somo Project’s mission is to identify, train, fund and mentor entrepreneurs looking to drive social change by building enterprises in their own low-income urban communities. This project seeks out talented individuals with vision, drive and a concrete plan to change their communities from within. Focusing on taking a long-term, investment-focused approach, the project will identify focus areas that have long-term importance to a community, such as health, education and the environment. The project will identify and build partnerships with local grassroots leaders to establish Somo’s presence and local platform. The project aims to prudently allocate capital and mitigate risk by seeking partnerships with only a limited number of excellent entrepreneurs (5 -15) in each start-up class. The focus is simple: seek entrepreneurs who can build sustainable, socially focused franchises, and who have a long runway of growth ahead of them.
(Note: This project originally won in the Big Ideas “Conflict & Development” Category)