Founded in 2010, Global Social Business Partners (GSBP) serves as a social business innovator and incubator for youth and beginner entrepreneurs. Communities Rise is honored to have GSBP in our 2022-2023 East King County Cohort and sit down with founder Narima Amin for an in-depth discussion of their work. GSBP’s mission is to foster entrepreneurship and social business innovation to solve social and environmental issues. Narima was called to this mission because she experienced food insecurity as a child and wanted to build a world without hunger and other injustices. As an incredible step toward this aim, GSBP provided 4,045 meals, and moved 42,439lbs of food to local communities in response to the COVID pandemic. In 2015, they incubated Bellevue Urban Garden: an urban community garden that grows food to conquer hunger and inspire others to cultivate gardens of their own. It’s been a joy to watch Narima grow as a leader during her time in the cohort. She spoke about the impact of coaching: “[The coaches] show up for nonprofit leaders in a way that allows leaders to feel seen, heard, supported, and comfortable. That’s really key as a leader who came from 30 years ago who needed a listening ear and capacity building support.”
GSBP furthers their mission by providing social business incubation support and educational opportunities that empower youth to change the world. In 2018, they launched Youth Rising, a platform to spread youth-driven innovations. Their services also include permaculture training in collaboration with climate-smart agriculture experts. The Permaculture Homestead formed in 2016 as a way to engage the neighborhood in growing food, give back to food banks and community members, and demonstrate sustainable practices. Community events and weekly emergency food distribution services are housed in the homestead. “I believe in the power of young people and the power of community. We want to give them the resources to create the future that they dream of,” explained Narima.
At the moment, the organization is working to establish the ISEED University HUB, a cafe and innovation lab where all of its programs can be accessed in person. It will consist of a cafe, retail marketplace, communal spaces for events, and dedicated areas for youth entrepreneurs. They’re also building the ISEED University online platform. ISEED is an acronym for Innovation for Social Entrepreneurship and Environmental Development. Narima outlined more of the ambitious project:
ISEED University has a vision for an online, practice-based learning curriculum that centers Indigenous values such as food sovereignty, sustainable construction and architecture, renewable energy, holistic health, and more. Through partnership with an accredited institution, ISEED University will offer PreK-12 S.T.E.A.M learning, certificate degree programs, a PhD for Social Entrepreneurs, and a JD/MBA program.
Eco-Community organizations like Global Social Business Partners are necessary to disrupt and decolonize the existing system that treats humans and the earth as tools for endless extraction. Their dedication to modeling sustainability and empowering youth as problem solvers is something everyone should incorporate into their lives. Communities Rise is excited to see what this incredible organization accomplishes next and to continue supporting nonprofit leaders like Narima in the future. If you’re interested in learning more about GSBP’s work, check out their website.