In my previous article I propounded that the purpose of storytelling is inherently dependent on your role in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. Here, I want to delve deeper into what storytelling should mean to incubators and accelerators in the social impact space.
Incubators Play A Key Role In The Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
Incubators occupy a pivotal place in the process of development and sustenance of social impact entrepreneurship. Simply put, they are intermediaries between organizations looking to channelize their money towards solving complex socio-economic problems and ventures seeking this money to fund the social impact they are creating at a ground level. They coach entrepreneurs in building organizational capacities so that their ventures can be scaled and sustained to achieve their goals.
Role of Impact Incubators
So, How Do Incubators Tell Their Stories
Incubators are aggregators of physical, intellectual and monetary resources for entrepreneurs. Typically, they run annual cohorts or multi-year fellowships and thus have direct access to a pool of ideas and insights and a community of innovators. All this serves as rich material for storytelling. These stories can not only create goodwill for incubators but also help the greater good of society by keeping various stakeholders and members of public informed about entrepreneurs and innovators who seek their support. Following are some of the storytelling themes for Incubators:
1. Discuss How You Spot Transformational Ideas
Elucidate how does your organization scout and identify potential game changing startups and innovative ideas thus allowing audience an insight into your impact objectives and focus areas.
2. Demonstrate Effectiveness Of Your Fellowship Or Cohort Program
The biggest value addition and differentiator of an incubator is its mentorship program. Show how you conduct your programs, formal and informal discussions during the program and the key takeaways for your mentees.
3. Share Profiles And Background Stories Of Your Fellows or Mentees
Create brief stories of the innovators and entrepreneurs you support to attract potential applicants for your programs
4. Showcase Some Successful Impact Projects
Projects that can serve as case studies and valuable representation of the impact supported by your organization are good candidates for storytelling.
Here Are A Few Examples
Village Capital’s FinTech India 2016 program, in collaboration with PayPal and BlackRock and with local support from the DBS Foundation, supported 11 ventures increasing access to and affordability of financials services for individuals and SMEs across India.
Visit Village Capital’s YouTube channel to see their short videos on their various programs
Marico Innovation Foundation’s prime purpose is to nurture innovation for social impact. One of the ways they are doing this is through their digital media property called MIF Talkies. Here’s a short film about a specific innovation from them:
In this excellent video, Acumen not only looks back at its journey since it began 15 years ago but also looks up to its vision of creating a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. Take a look:
Impact incubators have a special role to play beyond nurturing potential game-changing startups and innovative ideas. They need to start telling stories not only to create goodwill for themselves but also to help the greater good of society.