Transitioning a Nonprofit Initiative into a Social Enterprise: Navigating the Change and Skeptics

Brooke McKean March 17, 2023

Reach Pathways, LLC launched in 2022 out of 25+ years of Chicago Scholars nonprofit experience serving nearly 6,000 students get to and through college and into careers at 2-3X the national average. Yet, despite tripling in size over the past 5 years, Chicago Scholars still only serves 1 out of 8 eligible students in the city. To serve more, Chicago Scholars decided to throw out the nonprofit scale model and develop a social enterprise that reaches more students with an innovative technology platform – the REACH video game for college and career.

This session tells that story. This session is for all the aspiring entrepreneurs and nonprofits trying to scale differently, we’ll share our lessons learned, challenges, and how we navigated the many skeptics to launch REACH. And we succeeded, just 5 months after launching Reach Pathways, we won the SXSW Pitch in March 2023, bringing national attention to our vision and idea.


Fireside Chat (3 speakers maximum)


Entrepreneurship, Racial Justice

Purpose and Desired Outcome

Provide aspiring entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and investors with an understanding of how nonprofits can innovate through new and innovative hybrid legal structures and revenue models.


  • Service Providers

  • Accelerators & Incubators

  • Entrepreneurs


  • NameBrooke McKean
  • TitleCo-CEO
  • OrganizationReach Pathways
  • StatusInvited
  • NameJeffery Beckham
  • TitleCo-CEO
  • OrganizationReach Pathways
  • StatusInvited
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