Insights

The latest research insights and observations from the frontlines of ecosystem building for social change. A one-person think-tank.

Knowing what I know now (Allyship pt. 1)

Jun 29, 2020

In entrepreneurial ecosystem circles, we have talked about the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for several years. In that sense, I consider myself fortunate to have been around empathetic and outspoken changemakers who have always stood up for what’s right even when I was unable to fully comprehend the extent to which it …

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Purpose, Success & Happiness (Power of Purpose pt. 3)

May 28, 2020

When Katrin-Tanja Davidsdottir became the Fittest Woman on Earth at the 2016 Crossfit Games, she looked at her coach Ben Bergeron who she had trained with day-in and day-out for years and said “I am not as happy as I thought I would be”. In part 1 of this series, we discussed the importance of …

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Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Rooted in WHY (Power of Purpose pt. 2)

May 28, 2020

In my conversations over the years, social entrepreneurs, organizational leaders and some self-employed service providers (advisors and consultants) have shared with me – sworn to absolute secrecy – that they are secretly thinking about what’s next for them. I often get the sense that social entrepreneurs in particular feel guilty about wanting to experience new …

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Purpose led us here (Power of Purpose pt. 1)

May 28, 2020

There are leaders and there are those who lead. I had heard the quote before but it wasn’t until I picked up “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek that I started to appreciate the nuance of what it takes to get others so excited about our cause to the point of willingly and happily following …

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Making it through Covid19. Advice from an Impact Investor

Apr 16, 2020

This guest post was written by Social Venturer Ann-Christin Kortenbrede and originally published on The Social Business. Working with numerous portfolio and pipeline companies in the past few weeks has given me valuable insights into how companies and investors first reacted to the current crisis and then adjusted their medium-term strategies accordingly.  In this blog …

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Ecosystem builders as 2nd responders

Apr 2, 2020

Co-authored by Michelle Arevalo-Carpenter & Anika Horn For several years now, we both have actively supported entrepreneurial ecosystems in our respective regions as what is referred to as ecosystem builders. According to the Kauffman Foundation “An ecosystem that allows for the fast flow of talent, information, and resources helps entrepreneurs quickly find what they need …

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Your Unfair Advantage

Mar 2, 2020

The more I talk to entrepreneurial ecosystem builders for social change (35 and counting), the more I learn about the unique world views and skillsets that make these people put the needs of purpose-driven founders before their own. What I notice at the same time is that they often are not even aware of just …

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Work and Friends Richmond, VA

Community over competition: An ecosystem builder’s approach

Dec 27, 2019

For a few years now, I have been deeply entrenched in the world of entrepreneurial ecosystem building. You’ll find me in seventh heaven when I get to spend time with like-minded peers whose eyes brighten up when I casually sprinkle the words ecosystem building into a conversation! And then there’s the other 99% whose faces …

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Coffee shops: The gateway to ecosystem building

Nov 9, 2019

“Every morning, I see her walk from their shop – past Cork Coffee Roasters – to Starbucks and return with a tray of coffee for her team.” my sister explains to me as we ourselves sip coffee at Cocoalatte in Toronto. “Think about it. That easily eight euros (USD 10) a day that go to …

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