MCN Update: 27 April 2016

Collaboration is the key to building an inclusive community. 

How can we best support social entrepreneurs and innovators to build an inclusive community in our region and beyond? This was one of the main topics of discussion at the Impact Incubator / Accelerator Leaders Roundtable held at Impact Hub Baltimore last week. Special thanks to Darius Graham of the JHU Social Innovation Lab for organizing that great event.
The conversation itself reinforced the importance of face-to-face meetings during which participants can build relationships, learn from each other, and discover opportunities to collaborate. 

At MCN, we recognize how vital it is for members of our community to connect, and we strive to bring people together whenever possible. It was an honor to spend the afternoon with representatives of MissionHUB, Impact Hub DC, The DC Social Innovation Project, George Washington University, The Tecovas Foundation, The Case Foundation, Impact Hub Baltimore, Invested Impact, OSI-Baltimore, GreenLight Fund Philadelphia, Philadelphia University, Village Capital, and the JHU Social Innovation Lab. 

It was a room full of dreamers and doers, all of whom recognize that despite the massive amounts of work we’ve already done over the years, we’re still only scratching the surface as we develop and hone the tools and programs needed to help entrepreneurs and innovators thrive. 

Here are a few key takeaways from the conversation: 

  • A strong data tracking system can be an incredibly useful tool to help your organization measure success and effectively tell your story. It’s important to know what you’re measuring and why.
  • There is a large need to grow leadership skills within our communities, specifically on a local level to support under-represented groups, women, and young leaders and entrepreneurs. This requires active engagement with policy makers.
  • Neighborhood grants that support local projects, many of which are not designed to scale, play an important role in helping to bring communities together.
  • If you ask 10 people what an “inclusive community” looks like, you’ll get 11 different answers.
  • Networks don’t always grow organically. Organizations that intentionally strive for greater diversity at all levels should prioritize the need to “cross-pollinate” their networks and actively seek out leaders from different social circles.
  • Do not underestimate the importance of mentorship and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

At the Mentor Capital Network, we know we’re only a small part of the solution. Let’s work together to make a bigger impact. How can we collaborate with you?   


The Mentor Capital Network