Creating Cultures of Entrepreneurship in Communities Around the World

September 10, 2012 BY Sarah Green


empact sarah green

There are many definitions of entrepreneurship:

  • Something done to create value in a society
  • Enterprising to make a lot of money
  • Creating something new or building an organization to create something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty
  • The big one today: job creation

Creating jobs and the “next Mark Zuckerburg” has become the sexy way of talking about entrepreneurship.  While this has gotten the media to shed light on the important role entrepreneurship plays in innovation and economic development, it leaves out an incredibly important element that changes the way we think about the next generation of leaders.  That element is what has been broadly defined as the “entrepreneurial mindset”. 

Franklin D Roosevelt said, “we cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future”. 

To my fellow Gen Y-ers, entrepreneurship has started to have yet another definition – one that is not necessarily focused on money or creating jobs – but about changing the world and using innovation to transition an idea into something that, when applied to a profound business model, will create exponential positive impact.

If we are going to continue to address some of the most pressing issues that arise in society, especially the continuing jobs crisis, young people must be guided to truly encompass the entrepreneurial mindset. 

Once this is done, entrepreneurship can then become something more than just a young person creating his or her own job.  It can give young people the opportunity to become socially responsible global citizens who innovate to do something that will make a difference, fulfill their life goals, make a positive impact in the world, and live lives of passion purpose and prosperity.

So how do we start to shift the perception of entrepreneurship so that this mindset is truly engrained within a culture and entrepreneurship is seen as a viable career option? 

This is what we’re trying to accomplish through the organization I have helped to build, Empact, where our programs specifically focus on exposing young people to entrepreneurship and celebrating the role young entrepreneurs play in our economy so that each and every person can see entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset as the vehicle to realize their dreams. 

As many have witnessed, over the past few years the entrepreneurship ecosystem has exploded.  Many new, innovative organizations have been created in new segments of the field that didn’t exist only a few years ago.  Furthermore, many prominent organizations and leaders are now putting their attention towards the field.

As the field has rapidly developed, many organizations have recently taken a more segmented approach rather than working together within the ecosystem. 

That’s why we organize the annual Empact Summit on the Future of Entrepreneurship Education, an invite-only event that convenes top leaders from all of the different sectors of the global entrepreneurship ecosystem.  The mission of the event is to facilitate relationship building in order to develop & strengthen bonds within the global entrepreneurship ecosystem.  This year’s event will be taking place in Washington, DC September 26-29.

The event is organized in collaboration with several partners including the United Nations Foundation, Kauffman Foundation and US Chamber of Commerce.  Organizations such as the United Nations Foundation have made it easy for entrepreneurs to get involved in everything from creative input in their programs to actually leaning on entrepreneurs through their Young Entrepreneurs Council to help with overall foundation strategy.   

While we each have our own theories and ideas for how best to create and facilitate opportunities for young people around the world, it’s only by combining our efforts that we will be able to meet our combined goal and make entrepreneurship a viable career option for everyone.


POSTED IN: Get Involved, Smart Ideas, Social Good


Submitted by Sylvia Scott on: September 24, 2012 Well said-I don't think anyone could have phrased it better. Women entrepreneurs and their daughters are making a difference globally and the more they are educated and encouraged with entrepreneurial thinking-the better our world will become.

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