Dec. 9, 2016 12:52 pm

Hey, you should apply for this Women for Social Innovation grant

If you're developing "a creative and entrepreneurial solution to a difficult problem affecting a segment of women, girls, and families," that is. We checked in with two past Turning Point Prize recipients to find out how winning the grant impacted their work.

A recent She Can Win bootcamp.

(Photo courtesy of She Can Win)

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct application deadline. Edit 12/21 @ 9:45 a.m.
Admittedly, we’re on a bit of a giving circle kick here at Generocity.

And Women for Social Innovation (WSI) is one such giving circle that’s giving us all kinds of good feels about Philly’s social impact community. Thanks for the boost, everyone!

WSI funds the annual Turning Point Prize — $15,000 in seed money for someone who’s developing “a creative and entrepreneurial solution to a difficult problem affecting a segment of women, girls, and families,” as well as mentorship and support from the group. Fun fact: Most people who apply for the grant have no prior nonprofit experience, according to past WSI chair and current member Andrea Anania.

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So, in anticipation of the prize’s Jan. 6 application deadline, we checked in with a few past recipients to find out how winning the grant impacted their work.

There’s Jasmine Sessoms, whose organization, She Can Win, trains women to run for public office. The Turning Point Prize seed money was her first funding source, Sessoms said.

“It helped us build a website, and supported the first ever training class,” she wrote in an email. “As a result of that class we helped 2 women get elected to the PA House of Representatives. Without the WSI Grant we would not have been able to launch the program when we did.”

Sessoms’ assigned mentor was consultant and WSI founder Nancy Moses, who provided advice to get She Can Win off the ground and now sits on its board of directors.

“She closely monitors the program and helps me keep focus,” Sessoms said. “Her mentorship is invaluable.”

And there’s Lisa Miccolis, whose nonprofit café, The Monkey & The Elephant, trains foster youth with professional skills and employs them in the shop. With her Turning Point Prize money, Miccolis launched a pilot program to hire two youth employees.

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“It minimized the pressure to generate the revenue to cover all expenses at the pop-up location we had at the time,” Miccolis wrote in an email. “The program has definitely expanded — we are now in a brick-and-mortar location in Brewerytown with February marking 2 years in operation there.”

Since she received the award in April 2014, Miccolis said the program has graduated six youth, with six currently active. Two café managers and a clinical case manager have also been added to the staff.

“The other value of receiving funding from WSI has been the support from all of the women and past recipients. I did receive mentorship and continue to reach out and stay connected with the women who are involved,” she said. “Ultimately, I’ve found value in their enthusiasm for the work we are doing and their continued support and motivation.”

All the feels.


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