This series highlights the ventures and founders participating in the 2019 Impact Accelerator. Leading up to the Venture Showcase, we’re asking each company how their personal values are reflected in their business, and what they would do with $10,000 if they won it at the Venture Showcase this June.

Venture Name: Sole 2 Soul Movement

Members: Xavier Longwa Founder & CEO

Venture Description: Sole 2 Soul Movement is an eco-system of social enterprises that work in synergy to provide solutions for a range of social economic issues, especially those faced by Opportunity-Youth and the Second chance community. This will consist of the Sole 2 Soul Festival (our annual outreach event founded in 2011), S2S Training, S2S Kitchen and Sole 2 Soul Academy.

How does this business reflect your personal values?
My company reflects my values because this vision was born out of my story organically. I know how it feels to not get hired based on my past as a troubled youth. With no money to afford basic necessities like shelter and food, this challenge causes most prisoners re-entering society to revert back to old behaviors and ultimately back to jail within their first year of being released. So after being met by such realities when I initially attempted to change my life, I finally built the mental fortitude to stay the course, and started my own business instead of regressing. Now I plan to get more young minorities off the streets by teaching them how to do the same thing in addition to providing them with affordable housing, incubator space, and pathways to employment.

If you were to win the $10,000 grand prize at the Venture Showcase, what would you do with it?

If I won $10,000 at the venture showcase I would use the money as follows:
  • $500 to run an ad for a descriptive video we’re making about Sole 2 Soul, Our Vision, Mission, etc. with the purpose of galvanizing support from donors, vendors, and sponsors for our upcoming event.
  • $2,000 towards the Sole 2 Soul Festival taking place August 17, 2019. I founded this community event in 2011 and this is Sole 2 Soul’s foundation. This event has drawn crowds of over 500 people at a time. We collect and give away sneakers, school supplies, free haircuts and more. We have a host of entertainment like our city-wide popular basketball tournament, flag football, face painting, bouncy houses and more. In the past, this event was purely created as an outreach event however after realizing its potential, this year we are focusing on raising money to go towards a mixed-use commercial property that will house the S2S Movement and people in need of housing. Talk about WIN WIN!
  • The rest of the money would go toward our goal of $50,000 for the downpayment on the mixed-use property we have located, walked and created sales-proforma for. It has great potential to be self-sustaining from rental income alone, allowing us enough ramp-up time to build our vision in phases starting with S2S Kitchen.