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We help social entrepreneurs
find financial freedom and create a positive legacy for future generations.


Serving Social Entrepreneurs to Help Make the World a Better Place

Students on a computer studying

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship is a recognized business model that combines the disciplines of market capitalism with innovative approaches to solving societal problems. Social entrepreneurs have both a passion for business and compassion to make a positive impact. They understand the Triple Bottom Line, or the new 3Ps : People, Planet, & Profit.


Businesses guided by the Triple Bottom Line seek to give back by contributing to the strength and growth of their human capital, both their employees as well the wider community they serve.’ to ‘Businesses guided by the Triple Bottom Line seek to give back by contributing to the strength and growth of their human capital through the strength of their business structure including employees as well the wider community they serve


The planet, or environmental bottom line, refers to sustainable environmental practices. Social entrepreneurs endeavor to benefit the natural resources as much as possible or at the least do no harm and minimize environmental impact.’ to ‘The environmental bottom line refers to sustainable environmental practices. Social entrepreneurs endeavor to conserve and protect natural resources as much as possible in their business practices to minimize detrimental impact to our environment.


People want to support and work for companies that serve a larger purpose and help their communities. Sustainable companies operate on the notion that they can make a profit and expand into new markets while providing services that help address social concerns .

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Pi Academy

Entrepreneurship For Everyone

Facilitator: Gary Polk

Entrepreneurship For Everyone (E4E) begins the journey to becoming a fundable CEO. Starting with developing your “WHY! Simon Sinek says before one can discuss, “what we do”, or “how we do it” we must start with why we are in business. Your Mission, Vision, and Values will be developed. Then our teachings will shift to the importance of equity and that entrepreneurship is a team sport. Team building is vital to long-term success.

Intro To Social Entrepreneurship

Facilitator: Erin Thompson

Erin is currently an adjunct Professor of Social Entrepreneurship for Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business Administration – MBA Program. Her passion is to educate leaders by keeping them engaged and inspired through a productive learning environment. She is also a Chicago Bears Football fan.

Mental Fitness for Entrepreneurs

Facilitator: Dr. Armin Hoes. MD

Armin Hoes is the Founder and Medical Director of Latitude
Mental Health. He is also an MŪŪD Healthtech startup
Former US Air Force Intelligence Officer &
decorated Iraq War combat veteran. He Specializes in sports psychiatry and
mental fitness and produces & co-hosts SportsPsychMDs, an
independent, global streaming podcast.

golden bit coin and hundred dollar bill

Personal Finance

Facilitator: Grecia Iniguez

Personal finance takes our candidates down the road of responsible financial practices. They learn about credit, interest rates associated with it, different types of financing available as well as other practices that are accessible to the candidate to manage their own personal financial management system. You can’t run a business if you can’t handle your own personal financial house.

lean Operations

Facilitators: Murphy Witherspoon and Tim Dura

Murphy and Tim are both retired entrepreneurs who went to the educational side of entrepreneurship. Murphy did a lot of consulting and designing of lean operations in existing businesses to help increase their bottom line. Tim was on the small business side showing individuals common sense business practices to get the most out of each dollar going out as an expense to increase the amount of dollars coming in to elevate the bottom line.

Human Resources for the New CEO

Facilitator: Celeste Ramos-Young

Celeste comes to the Polk Institute as an active HR person consulting with businesses that are primarily related to the food service industry. She was an employee with the Denny[s organization and eventually ended up in a regional level position in charge of Human Resources. She ended up leaving the Denny’s organization and began her own restaurant and food service consulting business emphasizing HR issues for these businesses.

Marketing and Market Research for the beginning Entrepreneur

Facilitator: Janice Hamlin-Varney

A comprehensive introduction to market research, marketing and branding are introduced in this 4 week workshop. Janice takes the cohort through defining target market segments, demographics, psychographics, geographics and buying patterns in exploring viable target market segments. She then takes the cohort through how to market to these segments to increase exposure and sales. Branding is a large part of this so Janice emphasizes your brand and how important it is that you pose a positive impression upon your target market.

Finance for the CEO

Facilitator: Michael Manahan

MIchael Manahan is a professor at California State University Dominguez Hills in the business department teaching finance. He is also our CFO and fulfills the duties tasked in that job description. He teaches new CEO candidates how to build and utilize their own profit and loss statements, break even analyses and burn rates amongst other spread sheets.


Facilitators: Gary Polk, Mike Manahan, Tim Dura, and Alix Williams

The capstone workshop is designed to tie everything the cohort has learned and get them ready to present their business plans and pitch decks to potential investors at their founder meets funders event scheduled for January 15th, 2022. They will be taught ways to effectively present their pitch decks, put the final touches on their business plans and get ready for the roll out of their business through the Founders Meet Funders event in January of 2022.


CLASS 1 – Legal Points to Ponder for the New CEO
CLASS 2 – Biz Plans 101


CLASS 3 – Access to Capital, Getting in the game
CLASS 4 – Access to Capital, Get to know your banker
CLASS 5 – CMO role for Entrepreneurs


All of our facilitators are experts in their fields of expertise and great in transferring their knowledge – teaching skills are supported by our teach coach program.

We are open and accepting applications for new facilitators.

Professor polk
Erin Thompson talking about polk-ise

Our Cohort: Minority Small Business Owners with emphasis on those serving the Black and Brown communities

Our goal is to expose social entrepreneurship as a viable Business option and method to find true financial freedom to 70% of our targeted trainees – underrepresented Black & Brown minorities. Our students are serious about wanting to own a business.

Admission requirements include preparing and presenting a one-page business plan, with a 5 minute pitch and interview. Graduation requirements include a capstone thesis and a 10-minute investor quality pitch presented at our Founders Meet Funders Demo Day showcase and gala event.

Social Entrepreneurship

If you consider yourself a Social Entrepreneur, then we want to become a resource to help you make a sustainable impact on the world. As a Social Entrepreneur, you will learn about B-Corps, how they work and how to apply with the Polk Institute.

Pi Vision: Launch 1,000 Social Entrepreneur…SHIPS by 2032

People helping each other

For the last 29 years--Gary Polk and Michael Manahan have been collegiate educators and business consultants. During this time student debt has escalated to $1.6T. Pi is an innovation -driven enterprise offering Master Practitioner Training mentor-driven Accelerator; and Capital Funding Program. With focus among Black and Brown communities. Although clearly needed…COVID-19 & Zoom served as catalysts to launch the Polk Institute Foundation. Pi is an innovative enterprise offering Master practitioner training, in Social Entrepreneurship, Accelerator and Capital Funding program with focus of training Black and Brown fundable CEOs.

Our Vision

From the challenges created by the novel coronavirus in March 2020, the Polk Institute Foundation was founded with a goal to help Social Entrepreneurs find financial freedom and create a positive legacy for future generations. Our Pi Vision is to help launch 1000 Social Entrepreneur businesses over the next 10 years (by July 2032).

Our Core Values

CHARACTER: Doing the right thing when no one is watching. COLLABORATION: Entrepreneurship is a team sport.
CULTIVATION: If coachable, we can teach entrepreneurship to anyone.
FAILURE: Risk failure as a normal part of the journey to grow and find success.

Our Mission

Serving Social Entrepreneurs to Help Make the World a Better Place


The Polk Institute Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit foundation, is an innovative online enterprise offering Master Practitioner Training.. Pi Academy is a 10- month program, the Pi Accelerator is a six-month program. Once completing the 16-month program, the Alumni will be given direct access to capital funding. The program is open to all entrepreneurs and focuses on graduating Black and Brown fundable CEOs.

Its overarching goal is to ‘teach them how to fish, not give them fish.’ In doing so, Pi will teach them what they do not know about social entrepreneurship and business success, helping to create welfare withdrawal and create Black and Brown business legacies.

Social entrepreneurship companies are endeavors that are purpose-driven and represent the passion of the founder. These endeavors focus on People, Planet and Profit (Triple Bottom Line) and the belief that behaving ethically and generating profits are not conflicting concepts.

Polk Institute (PI) specializes in:

  • Comprehensive program of practitioner-driven  training and funding.

  • Black and Brown founders interested in Triple Bottom Line.
  • Tuition-free Training through scholarships.

  • Welfare Withdrawal.

  • Capital from individual donors, government, corporate, and foundation grants.

  • 40-week curriculum of 10-course program of required/elective courses.

  • Online learning and technology and innovation driven modalities, plus live synchronous and asynchronous classes.

The Pi Academy is a 40-week program of 10 required/elective courses; PLUS The Pi Accelerator is a 24-week program of working with a mentor to launch the businesses.

All entrepreneurs with a special emphasis on Black and Brown founders interested in Triple Bottom Line, the enterprises that focus on People, Planet and Profit.

NOTE: While the target market is Black and Brown Founders, non-Black or Brown Founders are also welcome to join Pi.

Polk Institute is an innovative-driven enterprise (IDE) offering Master Practitioner Training via the Pi Academy, Mentorship/Training via the Pi Accelerator and direct access to capital funding to launch the business during or at the end of the Accelerator program with a primary focus of graduating fundable CEOs.

It is tuition free to U.S. residents. Non–U.S. Residents will be charged $20,000.

To launch 1,000 Social Entrepreneurships by 2032.

Go to Click on Get Involved.


Be A Part Of The Vision!

Our intention is to launch our first Cohort class in February 2021 and to have our trainees launch 1,000 Ships (business ventures) by 2032. To accomplish this vision, our first goal it to raise $1 million to fund ramp up of the program and our first year of operations and raise a $100 million Endowment Fund to ensure our sustainability. If you believe in our mission and would like to learn more, support or collaborate with us, please send us an email below.

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    Polk Institute Foundation

    • 1552 E. Cyrene Drive, Carson, CA  90746
    • EIN – 85-3376905