So you’ve set your heart on getting your next job somewhere in that vague yet very sexy-sounding category called “social entrepreneurship”.
Maybe you are currently in the corporate world, and can’t fathom spending much more time slaving the hours of your life away to earn more money for people who already have money. Maybe you’re in the non-profit sector, and are feeling a little jaded and frustrated by the inefficiencies that stand between your organization and fully realized impact. Maybe you’re a recent graduate, and want to follow in the innovative footsteps of the new leaders you’ve heard of who are changing what it means to do good business. Or maybe you’re still in school and are looking for your next internship to build your skills and experience.
No matter who you are, the big question becomes: where the heck do I look?
Luckily, yours truly has been following the #socent job market in various places for the last several years, and as you can imagine I have amassed quite the bookmarks folder of various job boards that I like to keep my eyes on. You might be surprised by the number of opportunities out there!
Just add the following pages to your bookmarks list and check them regularly, and you’ll be off to a very good start.
This is my first go-to place for social entrepreneurship jobs. The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs is “a global membership network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets”. You can search by several different categories according to your interests or location, or just search “all” to get an idea of what’s out there.
There is often overlap between GIIN and ANDE, but there are many opportunities that are not cross-posted! GIIN is the Global Impact Investing Network, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing”. They are also well known for managing IRIS, a “catalog of generally accepted performance metrics” in impact investing. Though the jobs that they post are all relevant to the field of impact investing, they are actually quite diverse in roles and types of organizations, so don’t think for a minute this board is only for finance professionals!
Those of you who have been in the university environment in the last few years, you might be familiar with Net Impact, a nonprofit working to “empower a new generation to drive social and environmental change on campus and throughout their careers”, through their chapters on many college campuses. They run a pretty cool job board, that includes full-time jobs as well as fellowships and internships. Honestly, looking at some of their internship postings make me want to go back to undergrad and do ALL OF THEM!
I’ve only recently started following this one, but so far I’m sticking around! It exists purely to curate jobs in the social entrepreneurship and impact sector, and has a pretty good flow of postings. It’s an initiative of the Green Jobs Network, which is a great place to look if you’re seeking a position specifically in the environmental sector.
While all of the companies listed here might not be the most well-known social enterprises, all of them have social and/or environmental impact written into their DNA. If you’re not familiar, B Corporations are “for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” What I like most about this job board is that the openings posted here are not limited to major hubs like NYC, San Francisco, DC, etc. There are tons of jobs in smaller cities, where you don’t usually see a lot of jobs in the impact sector, and even towns I’ve never heard of. There are some international openings as well, although this board is overwhelmingly American.
Bonus: For the Latin American version of B Lab, check out Sistema B! Though they don’t have a job board, it’s a cool way to learn about the growth of “Empresas B” in Latin America — and if you’re interested in any particular Empresa B, you could always check their website for opportunities.
Though it doesn’t get updated quite as often as the others, I have to include Echoing Green simply due to the awesomeness of its fellows and their organizations. Echoing Green “supports next-generation talent in solving the world’s biggest problems”, providing seed capital and support to young leaders in programs like their flagship fellowship programs. If you’re ever feeling like you can’t do anything big or important as a young person, I’d recommend a digital splash of water on your face by checking out what their amazing Fellows are doing all over the world.
*UPDATED AUGUST 2016*: NextBillion has reformatted its job listings and now each post includes a lovely set of important facts, including organization name, location, and application deadline! I can go back to loving you, NextBillion.
Okay, this one would have made it higher on the list, because I love NextBillion for many reasons, however the downside to their job board is its poorly thought-out format. Each posting contains the name of the position, part of the description, and the date it was posted…but leaves out the name of the company and the location! Why would you do this to us poor, wretched job searchers, when you are so cool in so many other ways, NextBillion? If you have the time to click on each posting that looks interesting, though, there really are some sweet positions — thus its inclusion on this list.
On your way out, take some time to click through some of their recent blog posts and articles. They’re some of the most current thoughts on everything to do with business and development at the Bottom of the Pyramid.
This one depends a lot on the region in which you’re looking. Idealist posts all kinds of jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities in the impact sector, though on the whole it tends to lean more towards the nonprofit side. In certain regions, where the social entrepreneurship ecosystem is less developed, the posts tend to revolve around opportunities in direct service and education, whereas in other areas, especially larger cities, you will likely stumble upon some openings in the social enterprise sector. Either way, I always find it helpful to check out in order to get a full sense of the impact sector in an area.
Here’s a couple of final bonus tips:
Did you come across an organization or company that you would LOVE to work for, but they’re not hiring the right position for you right now? Go to their website, bookmark their Careers page, and check back on it regularly. This way, when the perfect position for you appears, you’re in the know and can apply quickly.
Are you dead set on a certain region or city, but are open to what you want to do? Do some research on accelerators and organizations working in the local social entrepreneurship ecosystem and get familiar with the major players in the area.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts with more resources, tips, and strategies to organize your job search, do research for your dream job, and build relationships with professionals you want to learn from (see what I did there? I didn’t use the dreaded “networking” term!).
Did I miss anything? What sites or resources do you use to look at social entrepreneurship jobs?