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Jonathan Lewis


Social Entrepreneurship Clinic


The NYU Reynolds Program was proud to host Jonathan Lewis, a social entrepreneurship practitioner and instructor as the NYU Reynolds Social Entrepreneurship Scholar in Residence from October 20 – November 1, 2014. Jonathan is a well-respected voice in the social impact field, and brings a wealth of expertise, strategic and tactical knowledge, and comprehensive real world experience in practicing, teaching, and leading social entrepreneurship. NYU Reynolds is thrilled that Jonathan will bring his tremendous understanding and experience to serve as a resource for the NYU and broader NYC communities.

Opportunities for Engagement:

  • Instruction: Jonathan taught Making Social Entrepreneurship Happen, a two-week intensive NYU Wagner course for NYU undergraduate students. Students will walk away understanding the process of social entrepreneurial problem-solving, armed with practical skills required for a social entrepreneurship career and empowered to make a difference creating the world they want to live in – starting now.
  • Office Hours: Jonathan held office hours and coaching sessions open to the broader NYU community. Undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff signed up for individual coaching appointments for themselves and/or their venture’s management team, to discuss their projects, goals, and challenges. All topics are fair game!
  • Changemaker Challenge: Jonathan led a workshop as part of the 2014 NYU Reynolds Changemaker Challenge (CmC) to help participant social entrepreneurs conceptualize and plan for the social ventures they are creating.
  • R.E.A.L. Workshop: Jonathan led an NYU Reynolds R.E.A.L. Workshop entitled Elevator Pitches Have Their Ups and Downs to share his insights on social impact fundraising. Participants will leave the workshop with practical tips and insights about for-profit and nonprofit fundraising for social change.
About Jonathan Lewis:

Jonathan C. Lewis is an accomplished social entrepreneur and a compelling public speaker on economic development issues and social change. He teaches a Social Entrepreneurship Clinic at university campuses and conferences around the world. He has blogged about social change at the Huffington Post.

Jonathan is the Founder/Host of Cafe Impact. Cafe Impact produces online videos about social entrepreneurship careers that are used by over 93,000 viewers and doers. Candid, filmed conversations with accomplished social entrepreneurs provide pragmatic insights about careers combating social and economic injustice.

He is also the Founder/President of the Opportunity Collaboration. This strategic business retreat and economic justice networking summit for 350 senior level anti-poverty leaders occurs annually on World Poverty Day in Ixtapa, Mexico. In its sixth year, it is a fully sustainable, self-financing social venture.

Jonathan is also the Founder/Board Chair of MCE Social Capital. This innovative social venture leverages $90 million of private capital to make tiny business loans to deeply impoverished people, mostly women, in developing countries. A rarity in the non-profit world, MCE Social Capital is self-sufficient without donations or grants.

He is also Co-Founder of Copia Global. This pioneering social enterprise is a consumer catalog serving the base of the economic pyramid in Nairobi, Kenya. Currently in its expansion phase, the company has already increased the net profits for small shopkeepers on average by 57% percent!

In addition, Jonathan is a Senior Advisor/Partner for Dev Equity (social impact investment fund focused on Latin America) and recently served as a Member of the Board of Directors of Everyone Counts (social enterprise using the Internet to assure safe and secure elections around the world). He is a recipient of the Social Venture Network Innovation Award.

In his eclectic entrepreneurial career, Jonathan has served as the founder/CEO of a global business knowledge company, Chief Budget Advisor to the President of the California State Senate, founder/CEO of an urban real estate investment company and founder/owner of a contemporary art gallery. He is on a search to find the tastiest, wackiest hot dog stand in the world.