Earlier this month, Suzanne Smith, SEA Board Member, Managing Director of Social Impact Architects, and Co-Founder of Flywheel: Social Enterprise Hub, wrote an open letter to recently re-elected US President, Barack Obama. In "Take social entrepreneurship to scale, Mr. President," she laid out five reasons the United States ought to take social entrepreneurship and social enterprise seriously - and to scale.
"Dear Mr. President:
"Congratulations on a hard-fought race for your second term as President. With your recent victory, I hope you will use your power – as a legislator, but also a bully pulpit – to broaden your agenda and take on some of our society’s most pressing issues. And, you have one thing that no other President has ever had – an army of two generations of social entrepreneurs who are fighting every day to change the landscape of education, health care, and workforce development.
"The United States was founded on the free enterprise system and now social changemakers are using these principles to solve problems. As Bill Drayton suggests, “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” The good news is that the social entrepreneurship movement is politically agnostic. Democrats connect with the cause because we are finding solutions to help the neediest among us, and Republicans appreciate that we are focused on social and financial return-on-investment.
"In your first term, we made some progress with social entrepreneurship. You started the first Office of Social Innovation and one state, Illinois, has followed your lead. You also created the Social Innovation Fund to find innovative programs and help them become scale-ready, which also led to agency-specific initiatives in the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
"However, as social entrepreneurs, we need you to go one step further as our champion-in-chief and help us harness the collective power of the government and individual citizens to create and sustain the changes needed to “revolutionize the industry.” We are beyond the pilot phase and are ready to take the movement to scale."
To read the rest of Suzanne's article on the SEE Change website, click here! SEA's thanks to Suzanne for penning the letter, which we hope reaches powerful eyes, and to SEE Change for providing a platform!