The Key to All Flavors of Entrepreneurship
President Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship 2016 kickoff’ed today in Silicon Valley. For the last 7 years, he has promoted entrepreneurship around the world. In this last year of his term, he took the conference to the heart of entrepreneurship and innovation.
At #GES2016, in one of the most compelling sessions of the day, Sue Siegel, Miller Center advisory board member and CEO of GE Ventures, moderated a discussion entitled, “Igniting Silicon Valley to Accelerate Global Entrepreneurship”. The panel was filled out by Tim Draper, Sheel Tyle, Doug Galen, and Randall Kempner.
Amongst many insights into the challenges and opportunities facing global entrepreneurs, some debate erupted over the term “social entrepreneur”. VCs Draper and Tyle support the belief that traditional entrepreneurship and the scaling of businesses of any nature have an indirect positive economic and social impact within a society. Galen and Kempner argued for the value of social entrepreneurship, with its direct emphasis on creating positive impact and for addressing the pressing needs of the most marginalized communities.
Both sides, however, agreed that sustainability is the key in both traditional and social entrepreneurship. At Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, we couldn’t agree more. Our Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI) mentored training programs are designed to help entrepreneurs align their business and impact models with the goal of creating sustainable, scalable, and investable businesses.
Social enterprise can take various forms (non-profit, for profit, and hybrid) and work in many different sectors. In these different cases, the type of investor, the form of investment, and the return (financial and impact) might look different. However, in all cases, showing a path to sustainability is critical for attracting investors and for generating lasting social and economic impact.
And though the debate continues, and while both traditional and social entrepreneurship have their place and their value to society, at Miller Center we are committed to helping the most innovative social entrepreneurs attract the investment they need to solve the world’s most pressing problems and to help those who are most in need.