The Pipeline is focused on providing students and community groups, the opportunity to ideate and launch social enterprise models that address the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals. This program guides participants through a process similar to a business start-up incubator and has the goal of building sustainable, scalable, and viable social enterprises.
12 Steps of The Pipeline
Global Goals, Local Solutions
Participants are given an overview of what it means to run a social enterprise – how building a community isn’t mutually exclusive with running a profitable business. Participants are given examples of successful social enterprises and shown how to incorporate social entrepreneurship into an otherwise standard business model.
In 2015, the United Nations released a list of 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, to be accomplished by 2030. This stage educates participants on the importance of scalability and creating partnerships to address multiple global problems through holistic solutions.
This stage draws from design thinking and brainstorming techniques to help participants come up with business models that address the needs of their community and fit their own skill sets and passions. The Ideation Process is the birthplace of ideas that are taken through the Pipeline.
Stay Lean teaches participants the principles of the Lean Startup, a method of accelerating business development. Stay Lean teaches participants how to ask important questions, evaluate their ideas, and create a business model that works.
In this stage, the group of participants search for problems with the business models within the Pipeline. This process can be instrumental in identifying challenges, opportunities, and roadblocks that may be present in each business model as it continues through the process.
Participants are encouraged to evaluate the feasibility of their projects success. Projects that have potential for success are advanced to Stage 7, while projects that have significant issues are either modified or discarded, and participants return to the Ideation Process to develop another idea.
In this stage, participants are taught valuable pitching skills designed to give them the tools to tell the story of their business idea. Participants get practice opportunities and coaching, and then pitch their concepts to external experts to gather feedback.
Building on the lean principles identified in Stage 4, participants will actually go out and engage potential customers to gather feedback on their product o service. Participants will be given support to design correct questions, and what to do with the information they receive.
Program facilitators introduce a variety of business models and help participants find an exact strategy that works best with their idea. In this stage, particular attention is paid to how participants can build a profitable social business that will sustain itself long term. ￼
Participants build on the feedback received from validation to pilot their business idea. This can take many forms, depending on the specifics of the business model. Facilitators provide participants with the support necessary to test their minimum viable product in real-world scenarios.
Participants take the learning from their pilot project, make changes, and then pitch the project to real community partners and investors. This will help participants secure the resources and networks they need to grow and be successful
For participants that have made it this far with a business model, they are ready to implement the business for real. Facilitators will provide feedback on the steps required to launch the business and scale into new markets. Feedback and support at this stage is ongoing.