The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) announced the launch of 100x Impact Accelerator, a £50M (approximately €56.68M) initiative to shape a new generation of “social unicorns”. The accelerator launched its first call for applications on Monday, January 9.
100x aims to form a new ecosystem of finance, talent, and access that enables ‘high-potential’ social entrepreneurs and non-profits to have a beneficial influence on society on a scale of billions.
Professor Stephan Chambers, Director of the Marshall Institute at LSE, says, “A clear understanding of the best approaches for social enterprises and charities to scale impact just doesn’t exist the way it does for private businesses to scale profits. That severely curtails the impact these organisations could have, and the world is worse off for it.”
“100x Impact Accelerator aims to plug this gap. By partnering with successful social unicorn founders and providing meaningful support to a large number of high potential impact-driven organisations, we aim to highlight ‘what works’ for social enterprises, so more of them experience real success,” adds Chambers.
The accelerator will launch two programmes per year. Applications for cohort 1 are currently live while cohort 2 applications will open in Spring 2023.
What to expect from 100x?
The aim of 100x is to find the right mix of knowledge, guidance, and funding to help impact-driven organisations. It attempts to demonstrate how impact-driven organisations can end the cycle of grant-seeking and weak governance by imitating the successful business accelerator model from the corporate sector. According to 100x, these factors often act together to restrict the potential for the development and influence of organisations.
Each social entrepreneur chosen for the 100x Impact Accelerator will get a grant of £150K, access to the ‘world-class’ knowledge of the LSE, and a 12-week programme of individualised coaching from experts and social unicorn founders to help leaders decide how to maximise their impact.
Besides, the programme also consists of two weeks of in-person instruction at the LSE, online consultations with specialists, and an annual Summit Day where all participants will make presentations to philanthropists, investors, governments, and the media. For ventures participating in 100x, all costs will be reimbursed.
Leslie Labruto, Director of 100x Impact Accelerator, says, “The social sector is ripe with innovative approaches for scaling impact, like open-source models, digital tools, and government partnerships. We’re here to help ventures understand the best model for solving the problem they’re trying to tackle – and then work with them to develop it.”
She further adds, “We’re looking for bold, innovative impact scale-ups to join us as we challenge the social enterprise status quo.”
Every year, the 100x Impact Accelerator will help two cohorts of 10 social companies, 70 per cent of which will be from emerging countries. The accelerator is seeking scale-up impact organisations with a tested business strategy so that it may assist in achieving their next significant leap of growth.
Spots will be made available to organisations in eight industries that strongly align with the research interests of LSE. These include climate and environment, health and social care, refugees and cohesion, equitable economies, happiness and wellbeing, democracy, education, and new frontiers.