Celebrating 5 Years of Social Impact

Bridges for Enterprise (BfE) began as a small student society at the University of Cambridge in late 2015.

With an initial vision to enable students to make a difference in the world regardless of their career aspirations, BfE provided a unique opportunity to gain practical skills while generating real-world impact. While our organizational structure has grown throughout the years, we remain committed to the same goal of empowering social entrepreneurs in the developing world to scale their ventures.

In developing markets, startup ecosystems remain inaccessible for too many budding entrepreneurs solving real-world problems. Incubator and accelerator programs, while incredibly beneficial for startups, are often limited to those with connections or a high-growth business model. While new programs are cropping up throughout emerging markets, the growth in startup support is still too slow to address the numerous challenges laid out by the United Nations (UN) in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With COVID-19 increasing poverty levels around the world, more people are recognizing the social enterprise business model and its importance in contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Whether a non-profit, for-profit or hybrid organization, using some type of market-based solution to address a key development challenge helps increase the chances of the business being sustainable over the long-run.

At BfE, we believe that it’s these social entrepreneurs that can help change the world.

We also know that there are many passionate and dedicated early-stage entrepreneurs who could benefit from a global community intent on empowering them to scale and generate greater impact. As an altruistic non-profit, this is precisely why we offer our 6–8 month Incubation Programme completely free-of-charge. Our virtual program is designed to provide actionable strategic recommendations for startups, while allowing our entrepreneurs to remain focused on running their business at the same time. A few stories about our impact can be found on the Startup Spotlight page. We will continue to highlight more moving forward.

At this 5-year junction, we are encouraged by the continued passion our students in Cambridge, New York, and Singapore show. Our mission could not be carried out successfully without their tireless effort and commitment. Similarly, we owe a debt of gratitude to the 200+ professionals who stand ready to mentor our entrepreneurs and student teams. We want to assure you that your efforts do not go unnoticed.

So, what’s next for BfE? We are currently building some new tech tools, expanding our global team, and onboarding new Advisors. The future looks bright, and if you’re reading this, we’re excited to share this next phase in our growth with you. Thanks for joining us on this journey to build a more inclusive and sustainable future.

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Jordan Wolken

Jordan Wolken

Sherpa Ventures | Bridges for Enterprise | Empowering startups in emerging markets