To Changemakers: We See You, Thank You, Are Here For You - SecondMuse

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    On National Entrepreneurs' Day and every day, we strive to vigorously support Changemakers forging a more environmentally and socially just future. Here's how.

    More than a decade ago, President Obama officially put National Entrepreneurs’ Day on U.S. calendars following a successful campaign by a trio of entrepreneurs. In their petition to the president, David Hauser, and Siam Taghaddos, the founders of the virtual phone system Grasshopper, and Amir Tehrani, co-founder of The Legacy Foundation, argued that “the most entrepreneurial country in the world” would benefit from an official day recognizing the people “who made America what it is today.”

    Since then, the case for not only recognizing but better supporting the people at the forefront of solving some of the world’s most pressing issues has only gotten stronger. The effects of climate change have only intensified, and the geopolitical situation and lingering pandemic have exposed and introduced a whole new set of global and local problems. As always, entrepreneurs, innovators, and other Changemakers, will, and already are playing a critical role in forging solutions to these problems — from developing vaccines and clean energy solutions to launching businesses to fill the needs of long-underserved communities.

    But the brilliance, drive, and innovation of Changemakers alone will never move the dial on the broader systemic change needed to address our major challenges and, ideally, enable communities around the world to thrive. What the world urgently needs, we believe, is for truly Changemaking innovation — ideas, businesses, and technology that benefit people and the planet — to scale. And for that to happen, the entire ecosystem of actors that surround Changemakers must prioritize environmental and social justice and use the systemic power they have to realize and amplify visions for a more just and sustainable world.

    How SecondMuse Champions Changemakers

    The work we do is premised on this conviction. So we wholeheartedly champion Changemakers — on National Entrepreneur Day and every day! But the way we champion Changemakers goes beyond providing individual, tailored support for promising ventures, which is still critical and which we work hard to do.

    Our approach to entrepreneur support also involves connecting Changemakers with the people and groups who have the resources, influence, and systemic power to drive change at scale, while simultaneously working to influence and grow the ecosystems around them — the evolving collective that sets norms, defines what is valued, and drives action.

    Last year, we were proud to have engaged with more than 30,000 Changemakers through 40 programs, including hackathons, open innovation challenges, accelerators and incubators, and through broader ecosystem development and investment fund design work. These Changemakers ranged from youth leaders designing digital spaces to improve wellbeing to entrepreneurs fighting plastic pollution in South and Southeast Asia, and innovators mitigating climate change. They included team members from Greenhope, an Indonesian material manufacturer on a mission to replace conventional plastics for sustainable consumption and production. These team members connected with experts through SecondMuse-linked programming that have been helping them implement a gender strategy to empower women on their staff.

    Our work helped Changemakers develop more than 2,800 solutions to a range of problems and directly accelerated 169 ventures.

    We also worked to grow and influence the ecosystems in which these Changemakers exist by organizing more than 315 events, supporting more than 80 organizations that offer direct support to entrepreneurs, sharing resources, and working through our investment firm, SecondMuse Capital, to design financial mechanisms and solutions to better support Changemakers (especially those who have been historically underserved).

    Maximizing Our Influence in Emerging Ecosystems

    Our work tends to focus on newer industries and economies where we believe we can drive the most change. One of the ways we do this is by working vigorously to support entrepreneurs and Changemakers from historically marginalized backgrounds whose brilliance has been long ignored at the expense of their communities and the world at large. Last year, 70 percent of our program participants came from minority backgrounds.

    To maximize our support, we also spend equal energy on working with investors, corporations, policymakers, and other Powerholders in their efforts to adopt and scale more just and inclusive practices. 

    The great opportunity of this moment is for us all to use the power we have to design economies that solve climate change, fix supply chains, mitigate mental health issues, elevate communities, get plastic out of the ocean, improve communities — and crucially, to do so without replicating past injustices.

    In the face of truly serious global challenges, we draw endless inspiration from the entrepreneurs and ecosystem actors we are fortunate enough to work with every day. 

    To all the entrepreneurs and other Changemakers working to vigorously better the world: We see you, we thank you, and we are as committed as ever to helping your visions take flight.