Social entrepreneurship has a proven track record of helping to increase climate resilience among those already living in poverty. There’s also compelling evidence that social entrepreneurship can help prevent more people being pushed into poverty by climate-fueled events such as droughts, floods, and increasingly frequent and strong storms. Still, when looking at individual social enterprises, it can be difficult to predict which ones will be successful in the long term, especially as they scale. We propose that business acceleration programs are particularly effective to both identifying which social enterprises are most likely to have an impact, and helping promising social enterprises to optimize their impact and business performance potential. By using the right metrics to choose social enterprises for their programs, and by providing social entrepreneurs with important skills, knowledge, support, and connections during the course of those programs, accelerators can help multiply the impact of the most high-potential social enterprises.

In proposing this perspective, Isabel Miranda and Andrew Lieberman are relying on their experience as an accelerator of more than 1,300 social enterprises globally; data generated by a 2021 Climate Resilience Asia Pacific Accelerator program Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship conducted in partnership with Chevron; data from a representative cohort of other alumni of Miller Center accelerator programs; and findings from business acceleration programs conducted by other organizations.

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