to unleash the potential of high-growth, high-impact social entrepreneurs in Charlotte to create sustained economic and social impact that spurs economic development, improves the lives of citizens, and drives a new model of sustainable growth.



What is Queen City Forward?

Entrepreneurs are creative, gutsy and forward thinking, and with all the tough challenges facing us right now, we need innovative, entrepreneurial ideas to meet our ever-growing societal demands. Queen City Forward provides a hub for entrepreneurs who have business ideas that address social needs and work to balance a triple-bottom-line of people, planet and profit. We encourage, enable and scale these social enterprises to build a robust cluster of innovation in the Charlotte region, helping to create our ideal economy. 

What does Social Entrepreneur mean?

Social entrepreneurs use innovative business approaches to address complex social, environmental and civic problems in ways that create sustainable, systemic change. Our community of social entrepreneurs creates revenue-generating social enterprises with an explicit focus on social impact and environmental sustainability – the triple-bottom line of people, planet and profit. Queen City Forward works across industries from banking to education, clean tech to software; in teams and alone; in non-profits and for-profits; in pursuit of economic vibrancy and social impact.

The Benefits of Social Enterprise

We believe that diversity breeds innovation and that a dynamic community of social entrepreneurs can create a better future for Charlotte, for North Carolina and for the world. We appreciate that social entrepreneurs can spark bold new ideas that tackle entrenched challenges, and champion the development of creative solutions. By sharing business resources, working space and ideas, we can decrease the barriers to launching social enterprises and greatly increase the chance for success for all social entrepreneurs.

Our Team


Amy Chiou

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Debbie Rubenstein
Strategic Engagement


Board of Directors

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Shay Prosser, CFO
The Employer's Association

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Sheila Mullen
Blue Skies CLT

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Al McMillian
McMillian Law, PLLC

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Holly Eskridge

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Jay Bendis
Transfer Technology Consultants

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Marcie Kelso
Kelso Communications

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Walt Frye

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Mark Bruinooge