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Social Entrepreneur

328 EpisodesProduced by Tony LoydWebsite

Social Entrepreneur exists at the intersection of profit and purpose. We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.


110, J.B. Schramm, New Profit | Advance Equity through Investment

New Profit supports systems-changing ideas to advance equity.  

America has a problem. We need ten million more people with degrees and quality credentials by the year 2025. J.B. Schramm wants to do something about that, in a way that advances equity.

J.B. was a co-founder, and now serves on the board of College Summit. College Summit partners with high schools in low-income communities to empower students. They see students as peer-leaders. To date, they have served over 250,000 students from 500 schools nationwide.

College summit saw quite a bit of success. President Obama awarded College Summit a portion of his noble prize fund. They were selected by the World Economic Forum as the US Social Entrepreneur of the Year. J.B. enjoyed the program work, but eventually, like very great social entrepreneur, he began thinking about how to shift the system. He began doing field work in order to advance equity across the entire system.  

Today, J.B. leads New Profit’s Learn to Earn Fund. Learn to Earn scales proven initiatives for low-income students to help them succeed in college and career.

New Profit is a venture philanthropy fund. Their mission is to break down the barriers that stand between people and opportunity in America. They partner social entrepreneurs and philanthropists to transform the way America educates its children.

One of New Profit’s initiatives is a Power Skills XPRIZE. Power skills include leadership, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, communication, growth mindset and grit.

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from J.B. Schramm

“For national security, global competitiveness and social justice reasons, our nation needs to develop ten million more Americans with degrees and quality credentials by 2025.”

“Unfortunately, what we haven’t seen are initiatives that are moving the needle for low-income students and scaling.”

“What Learn to Earn seeks to do is to scale proven initiatives for low-income students for their post-secondary and career success.”

“We use a private equity model for helping initiatives scale.”

“We help convene and catalyze the ecosystem.”

“We bring together our high net worth network, along with institutional funders to build funds that not only help to stretch the dollars and leverage the funders dollars but they also help these leading funders mitigate some risk.”

“We work to build a community of funders that assess the issue and then jump in together.”

“That was when I first recognized that talent is evenly distributed but opportunity is not.”

“While it’s important for each of these groups to serve more and more students, it’s also important to think about the field.”

“I’m just a firm believer that we learn by trying it out.”

“You’re going to have to be a pit bull.”

“Pay attention to your unit economics early.”

“Paying attention early on for the unit economics is going to make a difference between having a great idea that maybe inspires people versus an inspiring idea that actually can scale.”

“Start thinking about student activation.”

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:


Announcement: Back to Three Times Per Week, for Now

In June, we throttled back the number of episodes from three per week to one per week. While this change was somewhat popular, we also heard from plenty of others who wanted to hear from more social entrepreneurs. So, starting this week, we’re going to go back to the three times weekly schedule. You’ll have a chance to meet more social entrepreneurs and we’ll have a chance to highlight more important work. We’ll continue to monitor feedback and see how this change goes. If you have an opinion, let us know in the comments below.

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