Nonprofit Accelerator Program Tackles Inequalities


Stanford grad, Andrea Chen, was struck by the economic and social disparities she witnessed on a Teach for America assignment in New Orleans. Although 60 percent of residents are people of color, they only make-up 27 percent of business owners and receive less than two percent of revenue. In 2009, Andrea and friends started Propeller, a charity that supports local nonprofits and small businesses at every stage of development.

At the core of Propeller's work is its accelerator program, which incubates nonprofits and small businesses that are addressing inequalities in education, food, health, and water. In addition to providing them access to mentorship, funding, and resources, Propeller uses policy work to create new business opportunities. Recently, they prompted the New Orleans school district to require local food be incorporated into school lunches; then they helped incubate a food-distributor. Since its first program in 2011, Propeller has graduated 160+ entrepreneurs, who have generated over 360 new jobs and $85 million in revenue and financing. LEARN MORE