Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship

Bluhm/Helfand Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship


Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) has announced its partnership with the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship, a social entrepreneurship fellowship designed to bring five young social entrepreneurs from across the country to CIW, a seven-day platform for ideas, innovation and community to held in Chicago in October, 2011.

The Fellowship was created by Leslie Bluhm, co-founder of Chicago Cares, and her husband David Helfand. Applications are being accepted through July 5, 2011. The Fellowship will reward young leaders who have demonstrated a measurable impact in their field with a $10,000 contribution to their venture. Select members of the fellowship class will be selected to present their social entrepreneurship ideas alongside established professionals during an event celebrating social enterprise.

Each Fellow will be invited to meet with and receive guidance from Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand, as well as other prominent leaders.

Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship Winner

An Indian American social entrepreneurship fellowship winner was recognized for her work in co-founding Micro Home Solutions, a social venture that develops sustainable housing solutions for the urban poor. Rakhi Mishra was awarded the Harvard Business School 2011 Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, and her achievement was recognized at this year’s HBS Business Plan Contest.

At this event, teams of student entrepreneurs compete to win cash and in-kind services to support their ideas. Prior to receiving her MBA from Harvard in 2009, Mehra studied economics at St. Stephens College in Delhi and received the Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University, where she studied politics, philosophy and economics.

Mehra has many years of international development experience, having worked with CARE, social entrepreneur Ashoka Fellows, Grameen Bank and RABO Bank, a global bank focused on agribusiness.

Pipeline Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship

ff268 [Photo by The Jewish Agency for Israel] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Pipeline Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship is the brainchild of Natalia Oberti Noguera, a young woman with an economics degree from Yale and a passion for social enterprise.

The fellowship is designed to address the gender gap in the area of angel investing on two fronts, by increasing the number of women angel investors and increasing the funds available for women-owned, for-profit social ventures. There were 50 applications for the first ten slots available in the inaugural six-month program to educate, train and mentor women to become angel investors.

The ten women selected are from diverse backgrounds, including degree holders in fine arts, political science, philosophy, economics and law. Several also have an MBA, but the common thread tying these women together is their desire to support women entrepreneurs. The women were particularly drawn to the cohort model, where fellows learn from and support each other and make decisions as a whole.