The Mentor Capital Network is a community of more than 1,000 volunteers around the world, most of whom have built, managed, and/or invested in for-profit social enterprises. We are a USA 501©3 non-profit charity, coordinated by our staff and board. We identify and support entrepreneurs who are building for-profit companies that will make the world a better place when they succeed. We do this by connecting them to members of our community who are addressing similar challenges, but not competing for the same customers. We do not distribute grants. If you are starting or growing a non-profit company, we suggest you visit with our friends at The Unfunded List, who provide similar services to ours, but for non-profits.
Who Should Apply
- Entrepreneurs who are passionate about their expertise in solving social and environmental challenges, but new to taking a for-profit business to scale.
- Experienced business leaders who are new to integrating social and environmental values into their companies.
All applicants must be for-profit companies with social, environmental, and/or cultural values built into how they make money. 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.
Our entrepreneurs are operating in more than 90 countries. All you need to enter our program is a business plan written in English, Spanish, or French.
Apply by January 11th, 2021, to join the ranks of our alumni who are making significant changes in the world.
Our alumni came to us when they were just getting started, and have gone on to (collectively) earn or raise more than 1.5 Billion USD. They are addressing some of the hardest challenges in the world, such as:
- Working to increase 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 financial services to the unbanked, 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.
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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.
- 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
- 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 with 30 days. Here are some suggestions as to what your plan should include, and here is what we ask our reviewers to look for, but the most important thing is that you write the plan for yourself. There’s no point in us giving you feedback on something you wrote for us. This isn’t a competition.
- That you thank your (volunteer) reviewers, and proactively engage with the individuals best suited to be your mentors.
- That, if you are accepted, you 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.
How Our Program Works
- The MCN builds a team of 12-15 reviewers for each plan, who are chosen for diversity of perspective (marketing, finance, operations, etc.) with a focus on individuals who are addressing the same challenges but not competing for the same customers.
- Reviewers have a month to provide constructive commentary on the business plans. During this time, we host video chats to give reviewers a chance to ask clarifying questions and to give everyone a chance to meet each other.
- The feedback is then returned to the entrepreneurs and other members of the review team, sorted by reviewer and by topic.
- MCN staff and entrepreneurs meet to discuss which reviewers would make the best fit as mentors based on how valuable the entrepreneurs found their comments. Then it is up to the entrepreneurs to follow up.
- 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.