The Epp Peace Incubator at Conrad Grebel University College in the University of Waterloo is not your average accelerator program. While most accelerators focus on how to grow an organization, the Epp Peace Incubator focuses on how to grow impact by working with and through government.
Some business programs treat government like it is something to work around: a regulating body that gets in the way rather than a key partner in scaling impact. “In peace building, government is never an afterthought,” notes Paul Heidebrecht, Director of the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement. The Epp Peace Incubator aims to help entrepreneurial teams better understand the various roles and functions of government, and then goes beyond their “Government 101” training by making key introductions to influential government officials. They have found that entrepreneurs who understand government and who have been supported in their introductions to officials, can then influence policy, work with government to procure their services, tackle regulatory hurdles, or help provide innovative ideas and overlooked perspectives directly into government conversations.