Barbara Zaha is a Justmeans staff writer for Social Enterprise because of her passionate commitment to and knowledge of not-for-profit organizations and social enterprises. As an accomplished writer and not-for-profit consultant specializing in integrated communications, comprehensive strategies and development. she has served both local and national organizations as well as held various leadershi...
UNCF Social Entrepreneurship Initiative
To develop talented new leadership in the social enterprise sector while remaining relevant and responsive to the global economy, the United Negro College Fund, (UNCF), has developed dynamic Social Entrepreneurship programs "to equip African Americans with the skills and resources to make on-going and expanding social impact through entrepreneurship." UNCF intends to accelerate social change by simultaneously strengthening the power of existing organizations and developing qualified leadership for the future. To meet the complex social challenges spurred by growing disparity, an aging population, climate change, and increased urban populations, UNCF Social Entrepreneurship programs are designed to serve communities across the globe as well as the organizations - be they non-profit or social enterprise - already in place to do so or yet to be developed. Recent economic and political trends have only exacerbated the need for qualified, committed leadership in this emerging sector.
Partnering with New Sector Alliance, the UNCF Social Entrepreneurship Program assigns residents on-site at social enterprises or non-profits in a strategic leadership position for a one-year term. To maximize both the experience and the impact the residents have in a capacity building position, the residents are provided a matrix of mentors and trainers from some of the world's leading management and consulting firms, graduate programs, and other non-profit/social enterprise organizations. A cross-section collaboration allows for the greatest innovation of social programs and services, as well as new technologies and methodologies.
For more than 66 years, the UNCF has made it possible for more than 350,000 underprivileged students to successfully attend and graduate from college, making the organization second only to the U.S. government in the amount of funds it has allocated to help minorities access higher education. Since its inception, UNCF has raised more than $3.2 billion, providing operating funds for its 39 member historically black colleges and universities, while fueling the future with bright, talented students that will become tomorrow's leaders.
The already impressive impact of the UNCF will only be amplified through the skilled social entrepreneurs it unleashes on a troubled world through the USE, UNCF Social Entrepreneurship, programs.
Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe