Legend has it that Echoing Green was born during a road trip when our founders, the leadership of General Atlantic—a leading global growth private equity firm—were brainstorming how to maximize their philanthropic impact. Someone suggested that the venture capital investment model they employed so wisely at General Atlantic could be repurposed to drive social change, and with that, Echoing Green was established.
In 1987, General Atlantic officially launched Echoing Green, naming it after a William Blake poem about creating a better world. We supported our first promising young entrepreneur, Diana Propper de Callejon, to create an alternative economic base for Amazonian residents that was not based on deforestation, and the organization was off. Today, General Atlantic continues to be one of Echoing Green’s strongest advocates.
In 2002, Echoing Green Fellow, Cheryl L. Dorsey, took over the leadership of Echoing Green and reshaped the organization into a global nonprofit. Read Echoing Green’s Harvard Business School case if you want to learn more about this key moment in our history.
A decade later, the Echoing Green Fellowship continues to be Echoing Green’s cornerstone program, providing seed funding to social entrepreneurs launching bold new organizations to generate positive systemic change. Having supported 500 Fellows over the last twenty-five years—many with their original organizations and others leading key social sector institutions— we recently launched an alumni program to connect, strengthen and aid this extraordinary community.
Over the course of our history, something happened: Social entrepreneurship became a field. Stories of social entrepreneurs’ struggles, successes, failures, and abilities to find ways to create change despite obstacles began to mount, but there were few outlets for sharing them—especially with those who wanted to follow their lead. So, in 2006, we published our first book, Be Bold. This book tells the inspiring stories of twelve of our Echoing Green Fellows and what it took for them to create substantial impact. Be Bold introduced Echoing Green to new audiences, and suddenly, we began to hear from high numbers of young people who didn’t want to start new organizations, but who wanted to have the kinds of lives and careers that the Echoing Green Fellows featured in the Be Bold book had. Yet, when we searched for tools to offer these young people, we found very few. And so, we decided to create them.
In 2011, Echoing Green launched Work on Purpose, our program to help the Millennial generation build careers that are right for them and good for the world. A quarter century after General Atlantic's pioneering role in helping launch the field of social entrepreneurship, Echoing Green proudly continues to support this growing, vibrant field, and innovate how to best support next generation talent in solving today's toughest social problems.
Echoing Green Live
May 17, 2013 at 01:35 PM
Big Bold Benefit 2013: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years
May 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM
echoinggreen: In the poor margins of #Paris, @Adive_ is supporting local #entrepreneurs where many others are not: http://t.co/9c7BDFKXJP #socent @NYTimes
May 18, 2013 at 02:33 PM
How do I apply for a grant?
May 17, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Pioneering Social Change: http://www.echoinggre...