Published on: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Brotherhood, Inc., co-founded by students and faculty in the Community Justice Project at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, was the first runner-up in the 2012 Mosaic Social Entrepreneurs Cup competition. According to the Mosaic website, the competition is designed to “seek out, celebrate, and promote Minnesota’s most innovative and effective social entrepreneurs and the organizations they lead.” Brotherhood, Inc. was developed to create a pathway out of poverty for young African American males, ages 16-24, who have been involved in the criminal justice system or gangs or who are at risk of such involvement. Participants in the program receive life skills training, case management, educational support, and in house employment opportunities through a social enterprise called Brotherhood Brew Coffee.
As the second place finisher Brotherhood, Inc. received a $5,000 grant along with help from Social Venture Partners Minnesota. “It is awesome recognition of both the good work of Brotherhood, and the good work of the students,” Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds stated. She noted that the competition is sponsored by some of the best known companies in Minnesota including Wells Fargo, Carlson, General Mills, UnitedHealth Group, Digital River, and Xcel Energy. “We see this as a great encouragement that others see the value in the good things we are doing.”
The competition included pitching the business plan at the “EPCON: The Engaged Philanthropy Conference” on August 23. Each group was judged according to the plan’s social value, innovation, and social return on investment. One of Brotherhood, Inc.’s participants, Sidiq Abdullah, did the business pitch on behalf of the organization.
Tuloko, won the grand prize of $20,000 with their work in developing a website and smartphone application that lists businesses that are owned by African American entrepreneurs. The two honorable mentions were Nice Ride and Twin Cities Rise.