Professor Bill Leamon –
Mansfield Frazier has a passion for helping his neighbors in Hough, including the developmentally disabled, homeless, and formerly incarcerated, to overcome their barriers to employment by putting them to work in his urban vineyard growing the grapes that will eventually be made into his award-winning wine (The Great Geauga County Fair, 2014).
But it’s not just his passion. It’s his business.
Frazier is a man on a mission: To build Chateau Hough into a successful premium brand, transforming the lives of those he serves, and changing the neighborhood he loves, one of Cleveland’s poorest, in the process. Inspired and informed by Majora Carter, a renowned environmental activist who said, “You shouldn’t have to move to live in a better neighborhood,” Frazier sees opportunity where most see empty lots.
Frazier’s mission to increase economic, housing, and life stability is supported in part by SEA Change NEO, a Social Enterprise Accelerator powered by a group of progressive funders and program providers committed to helping Northeast Ohio make “a profound or notable transformation,” the very definition of the words “sea change.”
With the help of SEA Change NEO, Frazier has fortified his business plan, presentation, and pitch to the point where he is now poised to raise the $500,000 in capital he needs to build his field of dreams.
With the launch of SEA Change NEO last year a significant gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem has been filled. Social entrepreneurs like Frazier, intent on making a financially sustainable social impact, now have the access to the coaching, capital and connections needed to succeed.
SEA Change NEO is now recruiting a second cohort of a dozen or so social entrepreneurs, from individual changemakers to established nonprofits to existing businesses, all with dreams of making the world a better place, but who may lack some of the tools to effectively start, scale and/or sustain their mission-based enterprises.
If you want to follow in Frazier’s bold footsteps and put your ideas into action, I urge you to apply by August 15th at http://www.seachangeneo.org/pages/apply. Upon completion of the 12-week accelerator (Fall 2015) and 6-week pitch practice (Spring 2016) program, over $60,000 will be awarded by SEA Change NEO to the top social entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio.
I will close with my favorite quote from Goethe who said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
P.S. To see Mansfield’s SEA Change presentation describing his plans for Chateau Hough click here.
“Everybody’s Had The Blues”
by BB King
“The Road to Character” by
– From Dead Poet’s Society
Article of the Month:
“The Moral Bucket List”
by David Brooks