BounceBack Helps Miller Center Alumni Recover and Grow


Miller Center developed the BounceBack program which launched this month because every one of our alumni is suffering as a result of the pandemic. Some enterprises were badly damaged and are facing major recovery and rebuilding challenges. Others are in better shape but their business models were dented and their markets diminished or altered. They need to regain their robustness and get back on the path to growth. A small number weathered the storm relatively intact and are poised for growth using remote services and new product delivery business models. But they are confronting new market conditions and transformed ecosystem dynamics. BounceBack addresses the needs of all three.

BounceBack uses guided inquiry to uncover the priority areas needing improvement, rebuilding, or recasting. Because every enterprise faces distinct challenges, mentors and entrepreneurs collaboratively build a tailored plan using an interrogative framework to explore the current robustness of the business model and determine the new and emerging market characteristics that each enterprise faces.

BounceBack was conceived as part of Miller Center’s scenario planning process, conducted in the first months of the crisis. We weren’t sure what the future would be, but in every scenario considered it was clear that surviving alumni would need help to recover and grow as the crisis continues and ultimately subsides. We began development, prototyping, and testing in the spring. Alumni surveys showed that by August, many were ready to shift out of their survival mode and begin recovery and growth. The first BounceBack cohort of 15 social enterprises is currently underway,  coached by a stalwart group of mentors.