Anyone who has been keeping up with the news knows that we are living in a new era, with a pandemic that has laid bare the lack of safety nets and economic inequities, the senseless killings of Black and Brown people at the hands of police demonstrate the continued racial injustice, and the blatant threats to our democracy.
From the Uprising for Black Lives to calling our Congress people and signing petitions, many of us have been acting in solidarity to resist the attempts at a coup and further economic, political, and cultural backslide. Yet, sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. We’re asking ourselves how we can do more. At the same time, we’re wondering how we can do more when so much of what is going on feels like it’s beyond our daily control.
Whenever I am feeling helpless in this situation, I remember the deep wisdom my parents offered me. They reminded me of the power I have as an entrepreneur right now. This may seem counterintuitive given the uncertainty of our times, but they are right – being an entrepreneur is a powerful position right now! And here’s why.
Entrepreneurship is Part of the Movement
For the movement to work, it needs to be broad and systemic. Everyone has a part to play – activists putting feet on the street and raising the call, artists nourishing soul and culture, government officials blocking harmful activities, lawyers protecting rights, healers caring for bodies and spirits, and the list goes on. Entrepreneurs have a critical role to play too. As problem-solvers and innovators, entrepreneurs can create solutions and make economic decisions that support our community and uplift the movement.
There is Opportunity in Chaos
It’s clear that there that the sweeping policy changes that have occurred over the past four years in education, healthcare, the environment, immigration, and human rights will continue to create more chaos in the near-term and will take years to build back better. As entrepreneurs, we have opportunities to support the rebuilding with new, innovative technologies, products and services, that support a movement to a more just and regenerative economy. And, by engaging our communities in the design, testing, implementation, and ownership of those solutions, we can make our solutions more effective and resilient.
Entrepreneurs Bring Together Community
It’s easy for the current divisive political strategies to work when we don’t feel connected with each other. As entrepreneurs, we can cultivate greater connection in our communities through our businesses. Small businesses can get involved by sponsoring community-driven efforts to reduce racial and economic inequities. Online businesses can use social networks to provide opportunities for people to interact and create relationships across long distances. In addition, as entrepreneurs, we can choose to hire, spend money, and bank locally, keeping resources circulating and investing in our local communities.
So, whether you’re running a new startup or sitting with a new business idea and waiting for political stability, think about the ways your business can contribute to a greater good. Now’s the time to use your power and get started. Your community needs you!