QF Social Enterprise Fellows: First Year Comes to a Close


On May 22, the first cohort of QF Social Enterprise Fellows presented to more than 100 leaders from the Metro Denver community in an event co-hosted by the Barton Institute, Quarterly Forum, The Denver Foundation, and Social Venture Partners-Denver (SVP).

From January through May, two teams of Fellows worked with The Denver Foundation and SVP to study social enterprise. They conducted research and developed tools that will help the Foundation and other impact investors to analyze how and when to support social enterprises. They presented the results of their research to the audience. Other teams presented on their work with the Emily Griffith Foundation, Women’s Bean Project, Groundwork Denver, and Access Gallery.

“We’re enormously proud of the Fellows, who brought their knowledge, dedication, and curiosity to the inaugural year of the QF Social Enterprise Fellowship,” says David Miller, Executive Director of the Barton Institute. “We’re very grateful to QF for sponsoring the fellowship for another five years.”

Following the Fellows’ presentations, Janney Carpenter, Faculty Director for the Fellowship, moderated a panel of experts in impact investing and social enterprise. Panelists included Janice Fritsch, President of the Kenneth King Foundation; Patrick Horvath, Deputy Vice President of Programs for The Denver Foundation; Heather Lafferty, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver; and Mark Newhouse, a Board member of SVP and Colorado Pledge 1%.

QF Social Enterprise Projects


The Denver Foundation/Social Venture Partners – Denver: Stages of Social Enterprise Development

Emma Heffernan (MA ’18, Josef Korbel School of International Studies) and Sofia Ponte (MBA ’18, Daniels College of Business) conducted in-depth qualitative research and developed a staged model that outlines the growth phases of social enterprises.


The Denver Foundation/Social Venture Partners – Denver: Metro Denver Social Enterprise Survey

Becky Stifter (JD Candidate ‘19, Sturm College of Law) and Sajjid Budhwani (PhD Candidate, Morgridge College of Education) developed and conducted a survey of more than 30 social enterprises to determine their level of self-sufficiency, and their readiness to receive impact investments.


Access Gallery

Located in the heart of Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District, Access Gallery presents the work of artists who have many types of disabilities. Anna Bernhardt (JD Candidate ‘19, Sturm College of Law) and Jayne Butler (MFA ’18, School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences) worked with Access Gallery to develop the corporate art sales element of their social enterprise.

The 2018-19 QF Social Enterprise Fellows have been selected. Their names will be announced publicly in early June! Watch du.edu/bartoninstitute for the details.

Women’s Bean Project: Understanding Client Flow

The Women’s Bean Project is a job training program that operates in the context of a specialty food products packaging company. In a full employment economy, their pool of potential trainees has changed. Alex Lustig (MA ’18, Josef Korbel School of International Studies) and Jennifer Wilson (PhD Candidate, Graduate School of Social Work) studied how women find “the Bean” and decide whether or not to apply for its programs.


Groundwork Denver

Groundwork Denver partners with low-income communities to improve the physical environment and promote health and well-being. They also operate a social enterprise called Groundwork Greens. Jerry Ceja (Master’s Candidate, University College) worked with Groundwork Greens to examine its product mix, customer base, and marketing practices.


Emily Griffith Foundation

One of the many programs at the Emily Griffith Technical College is Emily’s Salon and Barbershop that trains stylists and barbers. These two programs are moving from the campus’s difficult-to-find mezzanine level to a street-front location on Broadway in the heart of downtown Denver. Rachel Wolf (MA ’18, Josef Korbel School of International Studies) and Eric Shimono (also MA ’18, Josef Korbel School of International Studies) worked together to create a business plan for the new location.