Nowadays, news headlines seek to catch people’s immediate attention instead of resonating with the audience on a meaningful level, and those needing help are trapped in their attempt to steal people’s attention away from Snapchat, Facebook, “Laurel or Yanny…” In a world with limited resources and ever-growing social demands, social entrepreneurship is especially important. People need to come up with innovative ways to create change faster and more effective and efficient than tradition entrepreneurship that stresses material profit over social effect. In Detroit, footprints of social entrepreneurship is everywhere, whether it is through helping other innovate or designing products and services that serve multiple needs at once.
At Build Institute, we help make aspiring entrepreneurs’ ideascome true by providing them with access to the necessary knowledge and tools. There are over 1400 people who have gone through one of Build’s curriculums. The office is always filled with incessant energy to run the programs and to reach out to more people who may need our help. Through conversations with colleagues, I learned that Build, as a non-profit, try to keep their classes affordable to those in need and do their best to accommodate everyone. The students, once they have graduated from Build classes, go on to starting their businesses, further addressing the needs of their community, providing more employment opportunities, and supporting other businesses in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. In 2017, “the average annual income of employees of Build graduates’ businesses 22.8% above the state average” and Build graduates have created 973 jobs since 2012. And Build is not the only incubator of this kind in Detroit. There are also ProsperUS, Techtown… and many more that are growing to serve more people yearning to start something new.
This is the power of social entrepreneurship, and I have so much respect for the members of Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Social entrepreneurship facilitates real change from the bottom up. Once you help someone get on their feet, a ripple effect occurs and benefits reverberate throughout the community