More and more youth are interested in social entrepreneurship, but many aspiring social entrepreneurs fail to move beyond the initial idea phase because the infrastructure to support them is lacking. Some are unable to gain access to networks or mentors that could provide the knowledge and experience to confront major decisions, while others lack the capital they need to start their venture.
We used a human-centered design to gain deep empathy for people, question assumptions, and explore directions in order to identify new opportunities, approach to examine the motivations and aspirations of young social entrepreneurs in San Francisco Bay Area.
We interviewed 10 potential users (6 youth and 4 experts), and 3 social entrepreneurs. We learned that youth are interested in social entrepreneurship as a means of tackling world challenges, yet many social entrepreneurs fail to move beyond the initial idea phase because they do not have enough support; youth are frustrated they do not have access to networks or mentors; they are limited with resources and especially lack capital to start new ventures.
Despite our designs being based on our research findings, our users were left confused and frustrated as we were not solving their needs. In our second iteration, we have updated the prototype with dummy content and focused our attention on users being able to understand the project and be able to navigate the mobile app with sufficient content.
Together is social entrepreneur resource and mentorship community that propels young adults and social entrepreneurs to create solutions for social change. Students and Social entrepreneurs apply to be members and upon acceptance, they gain access to others in the community. The application helps to match students and professionals based on skills and interests.The community is based on a systematic process of 8-week internships followed by 8-week mentorships. During the first period the student interns for the social entrepreneur. The second period the student is mentored to develop their own SE project using a Human Centered Design process. After the completing 16 weeks of working with a partner, members can choose new partners to go through the process again.
Test the most recent iteration to see how the new version of navigation is received.