Our programs are designed to support a community of problem solvers. No matter where you are in your journey, we think you have something meaningful to contribute to the future of Atlanta. If you need a space to work, we got you. If you want to learn more about what’s going in Atlanta, you can start by checking out some of our upcoming events.
Workshops & Trainings
Good for: Aspiring civic entrepreneurs. Have a great idea project, but are unsure where to begin? Start here.
Civic Innovation Fellowship
Good for: Civic entrepreneurs.
A six-month program for local leaders with ideas, products or programs, that improve the
Good for: Fellowship alumni.
A one-year intensive leadership and business development program for civic entrepreneurs.
Civic Impact Loan
Good for: Scalable ventures.
The Civic Impact Loan Fund helps early-stage civic entrepreneurs in expanding their business.
CIVIC INNOVATION FELLOWSHIP
The goal of any civic entrepreneur is to design a solution that works. Results matter. Our Civic Innovation Fellowship is a six-month program focused on pilot testing and validating the effectiveness and potential for scale of a solution.
Fellows are selected through a competitive, multi-round, peer-evaluation process. Fellows represent diverse communities across Atlanta.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
Two classes per month for six months focused on defining your vision, testing your solution, and building a model to create and grow your impact
A modest stipend to cover your costs for participation and pilot testing your idea
A modest stipend to support self-care/self-balance
Strategy and coaching sessions with peers and experienced advisors/mentors
A celebratory graduation where you pitch the results of your pilot test to the public
Access to individual workspace at the Center throughout the duration of the program
A continuous stream of resources and tools that you can use over time to strengthen the your work
A network of peers and alumni to continued supporting your work beyond the program
*Fellows focused on local food access/security are generously supported by our partners at the Food Well Alliance
WHAT WE EXPECT
Full attendance and participation in mandatory sessions, 1:1 coaching monthly, and end of Fellowship graduation
Reporting and completion of monthly assignments that are focused on concept comprehension
Hosting a site visit for your peers at any location of your choosing
You’re ready to learn. This experience will in some ways validate your thoughts, but in some ways, it will challenge them. You are going into this with an open mind.
You have the schedule flexibility to attend two full-day classes every month and a coaching session. (We provide a modest stipend to offset any costs incurred because of attendance.)
You are willing to be open and vulnerable. Fellows share a lot of personal details about their work and it’s our job to create a space that allows for that.
You want to help your peers succeed. This work sometimes get competitive, but this program is non-competitive. You are always rooting for your peers to win and succeed.
WHO WE LOOK FOR
This program is for civic entrepreneurs — local leaders with ideas, products, programs, and services that improve the social outcomes for their community. This includes farmers that increase access to healthy and affordable foods in surrounding neighborhoods through creative markets or teachers that change the way students are prepared for their future careers. Their work is entrepreneurial in approach and design, and their success is a vital part of strengthening our local economy and social fabric.
Ideas are accepted across sectors, including but not limited to: food access/security, art and culture, education, workforce development, public health, and civic engagement.
Additionally, in order to ensure you are in the best position to take full advantage of this program’s offerings, we prefer candidates who fit the following criteria:
You are the founder, co-founder, or executive director of this idea or organization
You have extensive experience of working in the sector or the subject matter that your idea is focused on
You have a clear understanding of the community/communities most impacted by the challenge you are solving. This isn’t you just parachuting in.
You are committed and dedicated to this work and are focused on the end result. This means that you may learn that the solution you’ve designed doesn’t work, and you’re willing to pivot if that’s the case.
The Center for Civic Innovation partners with mission-aligned investors and organizations to provide capital and additional support and guidance to the Fellows in this programs. All Fellows focused on issues related to local food are supported by the Food Well Alliance, which is focused on convening and investing in our local food system.
Additional investors in this program have included: Kendeda Fund, MailChimp, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Chick-Fil-A Foundation, United Way of Greater Atlanta, and the Equifax Foundation.
A very big, heartfelt thank you
to our investors and partners
+ How much time should I expect to commit to this program?
15-20 hours per month. This program requires attendance in two classes every month (5 hours per class), in-person strategy sessions and check-ins with coaches, advisors, and mentors (1-3 hours/month), and various benchmark activities to complete (5-7 hours/month).
+ Does my idea have to be a non-profit?
No - our program works with all kinds of organizations and business models - non-profit, for-profit, or a hybrid.
+ How do I know if I qualify as a “civic entrepreneur?”
If you are an individual with an idea for a solution to a social or societal problem through a venture, then you are a civic entrepreneur.
+ Are there any costs associated with the Fellowship program?
All Fellows are expected to cover their own transportation and parking costs throughout the program - fortunately we are just a block away from the MARTA Five Points station. Once you are here, we provide food and beverages for every class.
+ If I have applied to the Fellowship before, can I apply with the same idea again?
+ Do I have to be incorporated in order to apply?
No - if you are still at the idea stage, that is okay by us.
+ If I currently work a full-time job and work on this idea at night, should I apply?”
Yes - we have had past Fellows who balance this program with a full-time job. However, the two classes each month typically occur during the work day and all Fellows are expected to attend all classes, barring emergencies of course.
+ Can I submit additional materials along with my application?
No - due to the volume of applications we receive, we will not consider any additional documents during the application process.
+ What role does the Food Well Alliance play in the Civic Innovation Fellowship program?
In 2016, the Center for Civic Innovation launched a partnership with Food Well Alliance to support entrepreneurial efforts that advance the strength of our local food system— this includes the way we grow it, receive it, know about it, and consume it. Through this partnership, we reserve a select number of seats in the Fellowship for leaders that are focused specifically on local food.
+ Do other investors also have a role in the program?
Some neighborhoods are hit with the impact of inequality harder than others. Westside neighborhoods in Atlanta face some of the highest rates of inequality in the region, and ensuring that we have participants that are focused in these neighborhoods is an important part of our program. We partnered with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Equifax Foundation, Chick-Fil-A Foundation, and the United Way of Greater Atlanta to ensure that there are Fellows that reside and/or work in Westside neighborhoods with opportunities to grow programs and services that advance the wellbeing of its residents.
+ If I have other questions related to my personal situation, who should I reach out to?
We would love to address your questions - please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org