Social Entrepreneurship: A Pillar of Healthy Communities.

The social entrepreneurship branch of Eretz-Ir supports local entrepreneurs in bringing about the change they wish to see in their cities by providing them with the necessary mentoring, networking, tools, and infrastructure. Social entrepreneurship generates public involvement and civil activism, and mobilizes the creation of innovative solutions to community needs.

Social entrepreneurs are individuals using business tools and strategies to further a social purpose – such as a cafe that employs at-risk youth or a brew shop that opens in a run-down part of the city in order to create a community and renewal in the area. These social businesses have “double bottom-lines”: creating both profit and social impact.

We believe that it is important to create a supportive infrastructure in which developing entrepreneurs can thrive.  Such initiatives create jobs and stimulate the economy, as well as promote the wellbeing of the communities by providing bottom-up solutions to local problems. Accordingly, Eretz-Ir mentors and guides entrepreneurs – providing them with the skills and support needed to make their ideas a reality.  We engage municipalities, young adult centers, local businesses, and investors to partner in our efforts.

To date, Eretz-Ir has provided individually-tailored guidance to 150 social business initiatives, which have created an estimated 600 jobs. 8 country-wide accelerator programs for social business initiatives and two Negev-wide entrepreneurship programs have created a buzz around innovation and development and contributed to changing perceptions about cities in the periphery.

Eretz-Ir builds individually-tailored mentoring plans for each entrepreneur, and can therefore answer their needs at various stages – from the ideation phase, through initial stages of development, to a working business. Services Include:

  • The Accelerator Program: an intensive 7-month course in which entrepreneurs develop the professional knowledge, tools and inspiration they need to establish a social enterprise. The most impressive initiatives are awarded with a small investment at the end of the program.
  • Individual mentoring by professionals certified by the Ministry of Economy from the business, government, and civil sectors. Entrepreneurs receive guidance according to specific needs: building business and financial plans, marketing, market-research, networking, and more.
  • Workshops and lectures for the general population of entrepreneurs and small business owners covering topics such as social media, budgeting, and more.
  • Hackathons - 24 to 48-hour intensive efforts in which entrepreneurs and key figures from relevant professional fields combine efforts to reach solutions to specific social problems. The most promising ideas are selected to receive seed-money and mentorship to continue developing the idea.
  • Networking: Eretz-Ir establishes communities of entrepreneurs who meet for peer-learning, workshops, networking, and more.
  • Entrepreneurs without a registered NGO or business may incorporate their social projects through Eretz-Ir, which guides them in managing their finances and serves as their legal entity.

We believe in ongoing guidance, and continue to assist these social businesses through their challenges and personal needs after a specific program has ended.  We create lasting relationships that support our social entrepreneurs as they create positive change in their communities.

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