Betsy Densmore is Founder and President of Academies for Social Entrepreneurship. Formerly an officer with the Social Enterprise Institute, she has worked with hundreds of non-profit organizations on how to grow mission-related earned income ventures and improve their business acumen. She is also a popular workshop leader on leadership and organization development.


Immediately prior to joining the Institute, she served six years as a program leader for Landmark Education, a global training & personal development organization. A former resident of Chicago, Densmore was the Executive Director of a legal foundation from 1989-1999. Her career has also included running a energy management social enterprise, serving as the Manager of Consumer and Community Affairs for a Fortune 500 retailer and founding or co-founding 5 small businesses.


A former CFRE, Densmore served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Bar Foundation for ten years. Under her stewardship, the Foundation tripled in size and was relied on for its regional leadership in expanding access to legal services and education programs.

As Program Director for the Center for Neighborhood Technology (Chicago), she supervised a large, fee for service social enterprise which supported nonprofit organizations in reducing their energy costs, and worked with private foundations and public agencies to develop special grant and loan programs for low income neighborhoods.

She founded or co-founded three businesses and two non-profit organizations and served as a consultant on strategy development, fund-raising and management issues with other small businesses.

Her past experience also includes serving as the Manager of Consumer and Community Issues for McDonald’s Corporation and as the Executive Director for the Corporate Responsibility Group of Greater Chicago.
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