Social Innovators

The Social Innovation Forum's portfolio of nonprofit Social Innovators and social impact business Impact Entrepreneurs represents a range of social issues including food insecurity, healthy aging, environmental sustainability, youth development, and the arts. Explore our portfolio by year or social issue and read Innovator and Entrepreneur Spotlights to learn what it means to be a part of the Social Innovation Forum.

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  • True Colors: Out Youth Theater

    A Program of The Theater Offensive
    • 2008 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Arts
      LGBTQ
      Youth Development

    True Colors: Out Youth Theater, a program of The Theater Offensive, uses a proven community-based theater approach to train and activate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied youth leaders ages 14-29.

  • Innovator Spotlight

    uAspire

    (formerly ACCESS)
    • 2009 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Education & College Access

    uAspire, formerly known as ACCESS, works to ensure that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to – and through – a postsecondary education.

  • United Teen Equality Center (UTEC)

    • 2008 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Education & College Access
      Gateway Cities
      Youth Development

    UTEC's mission and promise is to ignite and nurture the ambition of the most disconnected youth to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success. UTEC serves proven-risk youth from both Lowell and Lawrence, MA and its long-term vision is to serve as a model for other youth agencies across the Commonwealth and beyond.

  • Urban Farming Institute

    • 2019 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Health & Nutrition

    Urban Farming Institute (UFI) mission is to develop urban farming as a commercial sector that creates green-collar jobs for residents, and to engage urban communities in building a healthier, more just and more locally-based food system. UFI is actively building farms, training farmers, hosting volunteers, providing farm stands, organizing workshops and conferences, offering cooking demonstrations, and promoting environmental justice as UFI establishes the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm as a hub of urban farming.

  • Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID)

    • 2004 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Civic Engagement
      Housing & Homelessness
      Social Enterprise
      Youth Development

    Viet-AID’s mission is to build a strong Vietnamese community and a vibrant Fields Corner through the following measures: promoting civic engagement and community building; developing affordable housing and commercial space; providing small business technical assistance and micro-enterprise development; and offering high quality child care services.

  • Vital Village Network

    • 2020 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Healthy Communities

    Vital Village Network fosters partnerships between residents and organizations designed to improve community capacity, transform systems of care and education, and foster innovation to promote child wellbeing, prevent early life adversities, and achieve equity. 

  • Waypoint Adventure

    • 2015 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Youth Development
      Education & College Access
      Disabilities

    Waypoint Adventure helps youth and adults with disabilities discover their purpose, talents, and strengths through the transforming power of adventure.

  • WHALE (Waterfront Historic Area League)

    • 2020 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Economic & Urban Development
      Gateway Cities

    WHALE (Waterfront Historic Area League) rescues historic buildings in New Bedford impacting the economic vitality and assisting with the overall revitalization of the city. 

  • WorkExpress

    A program of Father Bill's & MainSpring
    • 2012 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Housing & Homelessness
      Social Enterprise
      Workforce Development

    A program of Father Bill's & MainSpring,WorkExpress is a social enterprise that employs homeless men and women in commercial cleaning, landscaping, and apartment rehab, working for a variety of business customers. Participants also receive help with housing, case management, soft skills and employment training. Living and working together, they gain confidence, skills and stability, with the goal of graduating with both a job and housing within a year.