Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Marnisha Boddie was a bright, smart, driven, articulate student that lacked the social networks to expand her idea. Due to LITE, Marnisha identified that she had to change the way Memphis thought about the environment by empowering 10 high schools to collect 1,000 used clothes, merge them into 50 sets of fashionwear, put on a fashion showcase for 50 people, and sell those clothes to those in the audience. Marnisha then donated those proceeds to a local environmental non-profit. Through LITE's six month incubator, Marnisha had to pivot her initial idea after customer feedback, market her idea, budget for her idea, go to market with her idea, and pitch her idea to over 100 community investors.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
In the past year, LITE secured $2.6 million in merit scholarships for students, grew from 120 students to 1,000 students in workshops, grew incubator from 6 students to 50 students, and raised over $150K in revenue with a pledged grant of $350K in the works. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, students gave an average score of 9.77 on how rewarding the program was, 9.11 on how much growth they achieved with long-term skills, and 9.8 on parents believing that their children grew due to this program. 85% of students successfully launched their ventures and 86% of students grew significantly in ACT aligned skill areas.
The vision is for a low-income minority student at 16 years old to be just as likely by the time they are 25 years old as a high-income white student at 25 years old to launch a business successfully
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
The scaling strategy focuses on partnering with existing youth non-profits and offering intensive coaching to their top minority talent. The current growth model is capped at 100 ideas per city per year. The model would need 5 full-time staff for each city at full capacity. LITE plans on spreading to other small market cities like Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Newark, Kansas City. LITE's national model resembles Teach for America in that they have strong national values/mission at the national level but a localized model at each region that is self-funded.