ImpactAlpha, June 13 – Twin Cities-based Finnovation Lab has graduated the inaugural class of social impact entrepreneurs from its fellowship program. The program is backed by the Bush Foundation, and run in partnership with Impact Hub and beer company Finnegan’s Brew, to support underrepresented social entrepreneurs in the area. Its primary focus is on entrepreneurs’ professional development rather than business acceleration.
Finnovation Lab launched the program last year in line with Finnegans’ founder Jacquie Berglund’s mission to help social entrepreneurs overcome challenges she faced, namely lack of guidance, mentorship and community support. Rutledge tapped a diverse group of Twin Cities corporate, social enterprise and nonprofit leaders to select the cohort. “We’re looking for transformative ideas that can really have a positive and large social impact,” Finnovation’s Connie Rutledge told ImpactAlpha.
Five entrepreneurs participated in the Lab’s first cohort, including Mimi Aboubaker, the founder of fintech venture TUSA, which helps disadvantaged students with financial aid for school, and Precious Drew, co-founder of sustainable skincare company, PERK.
Fellows receive $50,000 for living expenses, a health insurance stipend, one-on-one mentorship and workspace. Finnovation Lab is looking to expand its next class to nine fellows.