Creating the "Win Win"
A Social Entrepreneur is one that is interested in solving a complex social or economic issue by taking the risk to find a solution. Rochester was once noted for its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. The past growth in our community was fueled by giants who’s innovations provided us all with a rich legacy of wealth and prosperity. Their ideas transformed Rochester into a city noted for its economic growth, civic leadership and cultural reform.
Rochester had an inner belief that if it was going to get done, Rochester could do it. This can do attitude was driven by Social Entrepreneurs like George Eastman, Joseph Wilson, Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony who used their passion, wealth and influence to improve social issues in our community. The torch has been passed to modern day Social Entrepreneurs like Matthew Augustine and Thomas Golisano that have been the catalyst to address social and economic issues in our community. Of course there are hundreds of unknown Social Entrepreneurs whose inventions and contributions never make the headlines but their impact is vital.
I am suggesting that we revisit the heart of the Social Entrepreneur and begin seeking solutions to our pressing social and economic needs. Our community’s steady decline is a reason to sound the alarm. Perhaps the answer to our future is in some way linked to our past. There appears to be a common set of qualities that made these men and women succeed in the face of adversity. They all took great risk; their innovative ideas met the needs of others; they invested heavily in their idea or concept; they walked by faith; they shared their ideas with the community and inspired others to greatness.
I believe that there are a host of Social Entrepreneurs that are still in the Rochester region. They are most likely focused on solving a complex social or economic issue. Their innovative ideas and concepts can have a positive impact by meeting needs within our community. I recognize that not everyone is called to be a Social Entrepreneur but we can help create the “Win Win” by supporting these exceptional people. Your support can be in the form of your time, talent and resources.