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Criteria

Strong candidates will demonstrate:
  • Bold Visions: A compelling idea that addresses a critical need or fills a programmatic gap and that demonstrates potential for transformative impact -- with particular emphasis on reinvigorating the Jewish community;
  • Dynamic Leadership: A skilled practitioner or visionary, whose expertise or insight aptly positions them to drive forward a vision for social change; and
  • Real ProgressGroundwork has been laid or thoughtful plans are in place for creating the organizational infrastructure necessary to realize the vision.

Bold Visions
Joshua Venture Group invests in ventures that provide greater capacity for Jewish communities to offer opportunities that meet the needs of their diverse and dynamic constituencies. The 2016-2018 Dual Investment Program will include support of one Fellow and venture who seeks to enrich Jewish life in Greater Chicago or Cook County.

Just as an entrepreneur in the business world does, the Jewish social entrepreneur identifies a void or significant opportunity in society and acts to address it with the aim of effecting positive social change. The entrepreneur develops a creative solution and a sound business plan to shift the status quo by implementing a venture that is sustainable and significantly impacts the current landscape. Social entrepreneurs may utilize new technologies and innovative program and funding models to dramatically alter efficiency and outcomes.

Dynamic Leaders
Joshua Venture Group champions the work of Jewish social entrepreneurs and invests equally in developing their ability to build and grow their ventures.

Jewish social entrepreneurs typically demonstrate:
  • Leadership and entrepreneurial skills
  • Strength and persistence of vision and the capacity to transmit it to others
  • The ability to reflect and learn from experience
  • Intelligence and intellectual capacity
  • Perseverance in the face of adversity and ambiguity
  • An openness to share learning with others
  • The capacity and motivation to identify and bring in resources to support vision
  • Background and thorough knowledge of the field of endeavor
  • A passion for social betterment within the context of Jewish values, identity, and community

Eligible applicants must:
  • Be the leader of the venture
  • Be a legal resident of the United States or Canada
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be able to commit to two years of full-time work on the proposed venture (minimum 35 hours a week) for the duration of the Dual Investment Program
  • Have no plans for graduate school, living abroad, or other full-time commitments for the duration of the Dual Investment Program (December 2016 through December 2018)
  • Plan to work toward raising additional funding beyond the two-year period
  • Agree to full participation in the Joshua Venture Group community by attending its semi-annual retreats; providing ongoing feedback and metrics; and engaging fully with peers, staff, and other stakeholders.

Real Progress
Ventures eligible for the 2016-2018 Chicago Fellow must be based in the United States or Canada, must be focused on reinvigorating the Chicago Jewish community, and must be early-stage.

We balance a number of factors to determine if your venture is at the appropriate stage for the Dual Investment Program. 

Ventures are considered early-stage if they meet at least four of the following characteristics:
  • Staff: Organization must have at least one paid staff member, but likely not more than two full-time staff members.
  • Board of Directors/Advisory Board: Board has not yet been formed, or was formed within the past 5 years.
  • Program Development: Organization’s core program is in its pilot or rollout stage.
  • Growth: Organization may have perfected a local model and is interested in replicating or scaling this model in a different city.
  • Budget: Organization typically has an annual budget of less than $300,000.
  • Funding: Joshua Venture Group would qualify as a significant early funder of the organization.
  • Legal Status:
    • If non-profit: Organization has not yet received 501(c)(3) status or equivalent, or received 501(c)(3) status or equivalent within the past 5 years.
    • If for-profit: Organization has not yet incorporated, or incorporated within the past 5 years.