Who Should Apply
Anyone who is building a company that has integrated social, environmental, or cultural values into how the business operates.
We are global — our alumni are operating in more than 90 countries.
All you need to participate in our program (should you be selected) is a business plan written in English, Spanish, or French. And be willing to consider the feedback of reviewers and engage with potential mentors.
We are best suited to support entrepreneurs who are passionate about their expertise in solving social and environmental challenges, but new to taking a for-profit business to scale, or experienced business leaders who are new to integrating social and environmental values into their companies.
While most of our applicants tend to be early stage (idea, prototype, seeking their first professional investment), we can work with later stage companies as long as you are open to feedback on your business model.
Apply by January 25th, 2021, to join the ranks of our alumni who are making significant changes in the world.
Our alumni have gone on to (collectively) earn or raise more than 1.5 Billion USD. They are addressing some of the most important challenges in the world, such as:
- Increasing the amount of healthy food and healthy farmers in our world, like Ignitia, Elevated Honey, & Vari,
- Bringing healthy food and drink to your table, like Kuli Kuli, Back to the Roots, Runa, & The Jackfruit Company.
- Providing access to financial services, like Tala, First Access, & Kopo Kopo.
- Improving the quality of, and access to, health care, like Access Afya, PACE MD, Sproxil, Maternova, & AYZH.
- Creating safer living and working conditions for women, like Wello Water , Pinkcollar, & moWoza.
- Generating affordable, clean, and renewable energy, like Husk Power Systems, ARED, & Gham Power.
- Cleaning the water, air, and/or environment for those who need it most, like Folia Materials, Chakr Innovation, and Sanivation.
- Creating a path out of poverty for employees, like Wash Cycle Laundry,
- Training and educating people to make their way in the world, like GogyUp
- Designing sustainable products, like Tonlé, WholeForest, & Yellow Leaf Hammocks.
But you don’t need to fit into any of those categories for the MCN to work with you — as long as you are addressing a social, environmental, or cultural challenge through how you do business, we’re happy to look at your application.
What We Offer
- Detailed and constructive feedback on your business plan from a team of 10-15 individuals who have been carefully curated to provide a diversity of experience in solving the same problems you are. A partial list of our mentors can be found here.
- Connections to mentors where you choose each other. We carefully curate teams who provide written and video-call feedback on your ideas. Then you decide who you want to be your mentor, based on how useful their feedback was, and how constructively it was delivered.
- Ongoing opportunities to connect with leaders who are addressing the same challenges that you are.
What We Ask Of You (Criteria)
- That someone on your team can communicate with our staff in English.
- That if you are accepted, you can submit a business plan for our review. Here are some suggestions as to what your plan should include, and here is what we ask our reviewers to look for. The most important thing is that you submit a document that you have written for *you*, not for us. We are not a competition. We don’t care how attractive your document is (as long as it’s easy to understand.) It doesn’t do us (or you) any good for our reviewers to give you feedback on a plan you aren’t using.
- That you thank your (volunteer) reviewers and proactively engage with the individuals best suited to be your mentors.
What We Ask Of You (Time and Effort)
Between now and January 25th
The Application Form should take between 15 minutes (if you already have a standard 2-page summary) and 60 minutes (if you do not.) We accept applications written to other programs or company summaries designed for standard platforms like GUST.
Between January 25th and February 28th
If you are selected for an interview, that will consist of a one-hour video chat (or phone call, if requested) with the MCN staff. We try to interview multiple (non-competitive) entrepreneurs on the same call.
Between March 1st and March 31th
If you are invited to submit a business plan, you will have 30 days to do so. We understand that start-ups are a moving target, and that you may want to update your business plan to reflect your current situation.
If you are invited into our program, we will ask you to pay a small processing fee — US$250 if you operate in an OECD country, US$25 if you operate in a LDC country, US$50 otherwise. We have found charging a small fee increases the quantity and quality of applications.
Between April 1st and April 30th
This when your business will be reviewed by 12-15 individuals. During this time, we will host 1 or 2 “Clarification Calls” with your reviewers that will give them a chance to ask you any questions they might have about your business plan before they write your reviews. These calls generally run 45-60 minutes, and are hosted on our Zoom channel, although you can call in by telephone if you wish.
Between May 1st and May 31st
That you thank your (volunteer) reviewers, and proactively engage with the individuals best suited to be your mentors. Your feedback should be returned to you in the 1st or 2nd week of May. About a week or two after that, we will schedule a call with you to go over any information you might wish to know about the individuals who will have offered to be mentors for your company.
After the business plan review and mentor-matching, there are ongoing Peer-To-Peer calls about various topics of interest, and as well as ongoing mastermind groups that members of the community can join.