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Council launches sixth What A Great Idea! contest

The Providers' Council's What A Great Idea! Contest, now in its sixth year, is an initiative to support the growth of innovation and social enterprise in the human services sector in Massachusetts.

The Council is now accepting innovative ideas from organizations that seek to win consulting services from graduate students at local universities.

You can submit your idea today! All submissions are due by 5 p.m. on July 1, 2016.

Some past winning ideas included:

  • Full Circle ARTS, a retail and online store featuring eco-friendly artwork and other creative products made and sold by adults with disabilities; a social enterprise of Justice Resource Institute.
  • Cloud4Causes, a business that provides IT services and network administration to peer nonprofits; a social enterprise of HMEA.
  • The Cafe at Whole Children, a cafe that serves as a job-training site for teens and young adults with developmental disabilities and a community social hub and gathering place featuring talent shows, art openings and performance opportunities; a social enterprise of The Association For Community Living. 
  • The Amego, Inc. Coffee Shop, which provides employment opportunities for individuals in Amego, Inc.'s day programs and offers Fair Trade coffee and baked goods.

In order to be eligible to win, your idea should:  

  • Come from a Providers' Council member agency, and based in Massachusetts.
  • Be innovative, new and creative! The scaling up of an existing social enterprise is not an eligible entry.
  • The parent agency must demonstrate that it has the capacity and plans to support the project and bring this idea to fruition beyond the consulting services.
  • Create jobs for either clients, consumers and/or organization.
  • Projected to generate revenue for the organization OR show importance to overall mission and agency growth through social innovation.
  • Be aligned with the parent organization's mission as a human service provider.
  • Be able to commit 8-10 hours of staff time each week that the 14-week consulting project is in progress. This will likely be spread out over multiple staff members.
  • Can effectively utilize the knowledge and skills of the consulting services.

Please see the webpage for the contest, and if you have questions, please contact Liz Woodbury.