As we think about 2022 and move into 2023, the role that entrepreneurship plays in our society continues to grow. Whether by choice or necessity, individuals turn to entrepreneurship to survive, thrive and lead a more fulfilling life. Being an entrepreneur is not a job – it is an identity.
We operate under a core belief – that everyone has potential but many lack opportunity. And entrepreneurship is the vehicle where potential meets opportunity. Entrepreneur skills are no longer a “nice to have” – but rather key skills to enable individuals to realize their potential, overcome systemic challenges, and lead a more fulfilling life. And this is especially true in our underserved communities where the institutions of justice, education, safety, and capital that so many of us rely upon are broken – making entrepreneurship an even more vital path.
But passion, grit and a good idea is not enough. To succeed, individuals must improve their skills as entrepreneurs. Only then, can they turn their passion into success. After all,
We have the privilege to usher current and aspiring entrepreneurs on their journey. By the end of 2022, we had served over 102,000 entrepreneurs. And we had the honor to see our Black Entrepreneur Initiative (launched in 2021) and our Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative (2022) making a difference of the lives of entrepreneurs everywhere. We learned so much from our Black and Hispanic ambassadors that guided us to serve the unique challenges of these communities. You can hear from some of these entrepreneurs and ambassadors throughout this report.
This follows on our work in 2020 when we launched our Entrepreneur Survival Guide, a free survival guide we provided to over 11,000 entrepreneurs to help them weather the storm of COVID-19.
We have had the privilege to serve entrepreneurs of virtually every shape and size – entrepreneurs that are young (Our youngest is 8!), Black, Latin, Asian, LGBTQ+, Native American, Pacific Islander, military, formerly incarcerated, farmers, athletes, and high schoolers.
Our work could not come to life without the generous support of our corporate, philanthropic and individual supporters, and our ambassador and volunteers. While many of these supporters have different goals, they all share a common belief – that providing individuals with entrepreneurial skills is essential to helping individuals lead more fulfilling lives and help socioeconomic growth of our communities.
We all know an individual with passion and potential, and we have the opportunity to help that individual turn that passion into success. Thank you for your continued support.
Michael Dermer President