Anyone who has been keeping up with the news knows that we are living in a new era, where a series of top-down executive orders reveals a divide and conquer strategy pitting communities against each other and amplifying discrimination and oppression.
From the Women’s March and protests in airports around the country to calling our Congress people and signing petitions, many of us are acting in solidarity to resist this regime and cultural backslide. Yet, sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. We’re asking ourselves how we can do more. At the same time, we’re wondering how we can do more when so much of what is going on feels like it’s beyond our daily control.
Last week, as an Indian American and daughter of immigrants, now naturalized citizens, I was having a meltdown over our current situation and was feeling dragged down and helpless. I began texting with my parents. Of course, they offered up deep wisdom, reminding me of the power I have as an entrepreneur right now. This may seem counterintuitive given the uncertainty of our times, but they are right – being an entrepreneur is a powerful position right now!
Entrepreneurship is Part of the Movement
For the movement to work, it needs to be broad and systemic. Everyone has a part to play – activists putting feet on the street and raising the call, artists nourishing soul and culture, government officials blocking harmful activities, lawyers protecting rights, healers caring for bodies and spirits, and the list goes on. Entrepreneurs have a critical role to play too. As problem-solvers and innovators, entrepreneurs can create solutions and make economic decisions that support our community and uplift the movement.
There is Opportunity in Chaos
It’s clear that there will continue to be sweeping policy changes – in education, healthcare, the environment, immigration, and human rights – that will create more chaos and further tear our already frayed safety nets. As entrepreneurs, we have opportunities to replace those safety nets with new, innovative technologies, products and services. And, by engaging our communities in the design, testing, implementation, and ownership of those solutions, we can make our solutions more effective and resilient.
Entrepreneurs Bring Together Community
It’s easy for the divide and conquer strategy to work when we don’t feel connected with each other. As entrepreneurs, we can cultivate greater connection in our communities through our businesses. Small, brick-and-mortar businesses provide the potential for people in local communities to meet each other and nurture relationships. Online businesses can use social networks to provide opportunities for people to interact and create relationships across long distances. In addition, as entrepreneurs, we can choose to hire, spend money, and bank locally, keeping resources circulating and investing in our local communities.
So, whether you’re running a new startup or sitting with a new business idea and waiting for political stability, think about the ways your business can contribute to a greater good. Now’s the time to use your power and get started. Your community needs you!
Image Attribution: copyright krasimiranevenova / 123RF Stock Photo