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What Echoing Green Looks for in Social Entrepreneurs

Echoing Green Fellows think critically, are willing to take risks, and initiate change to take on the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. Our search for the next class of Fellows begins again, and we’re eager to meet candidates from all over the world. Our Fellowship evaluators will review applicants against two sets of criteria to understand the role the applicant will play to propel society forward with solutions that make our communities and world better.

Fellowship applicants answer questions that map directly to the individual criteria below, which help reviewers understand their idea and why they are the person to implement it. Next week, stay tuned for a post about the criteria we use to understand the applicant’s idea or organization!

Echoing Green Fellowship Applicant Criteria

Purpose & Passion

Show us that you care deeply about this issue or community and help us understand why. The problems our entrepreneurs work on found them, and they can’t ignore it. They come from a sense of purpose—there’s a conviction and passion for their issue or community that is clear and compelling.


Demonstrate that you have bounced back or have the capacity to do so, as well as the ability to foresee challenges. Social entrepreneurship is tough, and we know that our Fellows will inevitably face obstacles along the way. We are looking for applicants who exhibit “distance traveled”—meaning that they have shown the ability to overcome hardship and to bounce back, as well as the ability to foresee any challenges.


Show us that you can lead this organization toward its goals. What unique skills and experiences do you have that will help you succeed? When we select applicants, we know they are about to become the CEO of something big and important. In their applications, they need to show us that they can lead their organization toward its goals, and showcase unique skills and experiences they have that will help them succeed. We ask applicants to show us how they are constantly learning, reinventing, and exploring new things to be effective leaders.

Ability to Attract Resources

Successful social entrepreneurs attract money, people, and other resources to their cause. They are “resource magnets.” This does not mean that Fellows need to be the person on stage at a 10,000 person rally. Some leaders are more unassuming and still able to get others to care about their cause and take action.

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