As Charlotte’s entrepreneurial scene expands, new ventures continue to pop up to impact communities and the people who live in them. Social Venture Partners took notice, and through SEED20, SVP has provided training, coaching and mentoring to 20 nonprofits in its 2019 class.
Twenty nonprofits dwindle down to 10 to compete in the annual pitch competition, SEED20 OnStage. Entrepreneurs will pitch their organizations at the March 25 event to a panel of judges for a chance to win cash awards. This year’s judges are creative entrepreneur Davita Galloway, author Chris Elmore, and QCityMetro.com’s publisher Glenn Burkins.
Past grand prize winners have included ChemoCars (2018), Profound Gentlemen (2017) and Gen-One Charlotte (2016). Here’s a sample of this year’s finalists.
Cops & Barbers Foundation
Founded in 2015 by Da Lucky Spot Barbershop owner Shaun “Lucky” Corbett and Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, the Cops & Barbers initiative began as a direct response to the 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
At the time, it hit home for Corbett who had a son the same age as Brown. He recognized that the first interaction between young black men and law enforcement in his community wasn’t always a positive experience. Cops & Barbers was born as a way to ease tension and create constructive conversations between police officers and communities they’ve sworn to serve and protect.
Those in the Cops & Barbers program have an interest in barbering. Corbett describes the barbershop as “a trusted cornerstone of the community.” Participating students in the scholarship program are paired with police cadets to create bonds that, hopefully, allow them to see each other from a different perspective.
A Better World
In 2001, Christ Resurrection Church Pastor Ken Gilliard and Forest Hill Church founded A Better World to give disadvantaged youth a chance to better themselves. ABW has assisted more than 5,000 children by providing educational and mental health resources. The nonprofit serves kids — predominantly in the Ashley Park neighborhood — by offering afterschool programs that include tutoring, homework assistance and hot meals.
Unbeknownst to Adrienne Threatt, sharing a video of women living on the streets would lead to the creation of a nonprofit that impacts the city’s homeless population. Threatt co-founded Hope Vibes along with her husband Emmanuel where they provide hygiene products for hundreds of homeless men, women and children.
Last year, Hope Vibes provided 1,500 hygiene packs, 10,000 feminine hygiene products and 200 winter items to families in need.
“Hygiene is easily one of those things that’s overlooked, but it’s definitely needed in our everyday life,” said Emmanuel, who is representing Hope Vibes at SEED20 OnStage. “Hygiene can change the trajectory of someone’s life.”
Rounding out the 10 finalists competing for SEED20 OnStage cash prizes are:
- Brand the Moth;
- Foster Village Charlotte;
- Joe’s Camp (a program of the Joe Martin ALS Foundation);
- Para Guide Foundation;
- QC Scores;
- The Investment Pathway (a program of Ada Jenkins Center); and
- Workers Collaborative Center (a program of Latin American Coalition).
When: Monday, March 25
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St.
Jonathan Limehouse is a journalist whose passion is to find good and impactful stories. He’s an avid sports fan who can be found at numerous sporting events around Charlotte.