Meet our Accelerator Hub Finalist: Emily Penzo, founder of North Node

North Node

According to The 2020 Nonprofit Employment Report by John Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, the non-profit sector is the third largest private employer in the US. Despite an increased number of volunteers, the estimated total value was $167 billion in 2017, a $17 billion decrease from 2015. While more people are volunteering over time, they are doing so for fewer hours total as reported but the Corporation for National & Community Service, “Volunteering in America.”

During these unprecedented times, non-profit organizations are strained. All aspects of their work have been impacted and the pandemic has triggered a funding crisis.

Non-proft organizations are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in different ways. Some of them are now unable to run their organization because of the lack of financial resources, and social distancing policy, whereas others face an unprecedented surge in demand, such as food banks and medical support. 

More than ever, non-profit organizations need to reinvent themselves, find new ways of working in the sector and new opportunities to survive. 

Emily Penzo, our Aspiring Entrepreneur 

Emily Penzo, one of the Accelerator Hub finalists aspires to support non-profit organizations. 

She started in the sector by volunteering for a breast cancer non-profit organization called You Can Thrive, where she is now a board member. You Can Thrive is a breast cancer non-profit organization that provides a well-being service for those diagnosed with cancer, helping survivors to heal their mind, body, and spirit, so that they can thrive. 

As a cancer’s survivor herself, she found strength to fight her cancer thanks to this organization. Getting support from them, and seeing how devoted they were, has inspired Emily to help others who are enduring difficult times. Ultimately, it helped her take the leap to change her life path and become an entrepreneur. 

Emily’s entrepreneurial journey starts with North Node, a social enterprise startup that connects volunteers and non-profit organizations in NYC.

North Node aims to provide user friendly service and unique experience for individuals to join philanthropic communities and build meaningful everlasting connections. 

North Node tagline is “connecting Minds, Hands and Hearts for a better tomorrow”. It is a volunteer recruitment management platform and a donation fundraising system for non-profit organizations. It is also an open platform for volunteers to share their passion and give back to the community. This support to better match volunteers and non-profit organizations is essential to assure NGOs can run properly.

Through the realization of her entrepreneurial dream, Emily found her life purpose. It is to create a positive impact for the community, particularly non-profit organizations in NYC where she lives. Emily said that her goal is to be

“A social entrepreneur that can lift up her community and make a difference in this world”.

Positive Planet US Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in the US 

Emily has applied to the Positive Planet US Accelerator Hub program in order “to gain valuable business insights that can help North Node reach new heights”. Our accelerator aims to provide Emily with all the necessary tools and resources she needs to turn her passion and ideas into a thriving business. Through this Accelerator Hub, we aim to deliver PPUS’s core purpose, that is, to empower underprivileged community members by providing them means to become entrepreneurs.

We, at Positive Planet US, support social entrepreneurship initiatives. We believe that businesses should support a social cause and improve the world we live in. For this reason, it is an honor for us to support Emily with her North Node project. We truly hope her project will bring a positive impact to the nonprofit sector.

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