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Is there a typical career path for social entrepreneurs?

Many early-stage social entrepreneurs frequently leverage the expertise of more established social entrepreneurs to “vet” their ideas and provide them with strategic support as they think about further opportunities to pursue. It is important for early-stage entrepreneurs to find an early network of champions, as well as build skills.

Early-stage social entrepreneurs also leverage resources from existing networks to research a social problem and ideate on a new solution. Some may apply for early-stage design thinking programs, such as 4.0 Schools’ Essentials program or a class at Stanford University’s d.school, and others may leverage resources available to Teach For America alumni, such as DesignCamp.

As early-stage entrepreneurs move into the growth stage, they may seek venture philanthropy funding or apply for several incubators, accelerators, or fellowships. Some popular programs aside from the ones highlighted above are Imagine K12, Better Ventures, and Socratic Labs.

Established entrepreneurs reach a point in their organization’s development where they transition from the role of a founder into the role of a CEO. Learn more about the difference between these two roles and why it matters.