ACT House has helped me realize my agency and the ability to fight the good fight. What I didn’t know, was that I had the agency before ever joining the ACT House, and so does everyone else.
Millennial entrepreneurs have a critical role to play in the long-term health of the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, right now they are MIA. Helping them get onto the startup field will better ensure their prosperity and well-being—and ours.
Building a business that makes a profit allows you to have more capital to invest into impact programs for your beneficiaries. If profit is allocated properly, impact is tremendous. Evidence of this was consistent throughout the Bali program as we visited social enterprises that trained and employed locals to carry out change in their communities directly through business approaches complemented with holistic, wrap-around supports.
Post graduation, I aspire to pursue a career in the hybrid non-profit and social entrepreneurship space in the developing world. While I have suitable experience on the non-profit side of things through different involvements with NGOs over my previous summers, before this internship I had never been directly involved with profit-focused entities. Accordingly, my time with VGS and PrivySeal served as my first real-life exposure to the business world and helped fill my experience void. Because of this, I can say with complete confidence that this summer allowed for enormous personal and professional growth and has brought me significantly closer to my eventual career goals.
Change will only come when we decide to take the first step. As social innovators, we must be bold enough to believe in the future we hope to create yet be humble enough to understand that most change happens slowly and, as such, we must remain steadfast. Complex social issues defy simple, straightforward solutions; they demand a deep understanding, our best ideas, a willingness to collaborate, and a long-term commitment. The Bali Immersion experience added an entirely unique and comprehensive layer to my undergraduate education, and I cannot imagine my time at Florida State without it.
Our experiences at the DeVoe Moore Center have shown that the Millennial and Gen Z generations are an untapped resource of entrepreneurship and creativity waiting to be shaped by the right organizational leadership and structures. We are inspired and thriving because our Center happens to be located at the sweet spot in transition generations from students to professionals. By making the human resources shift to take advantage of an innate passion for achievement by enabling guided, bottom up, and goal directed effort, our younger works have leverage the experience and skills of more experienced staff to achieve significant growth in productivity and output.
Disciplines in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy promote critical thinking, analytical methods, and empirical skills as the path to understanding the key political, social, and economic issues that dominate our public discussions.
This brings me around to describing the two major thrusts of what I consider the college’s commitment to Diversity – People and Ideas. A college with a diverse population that holds a shared worldview is a failure. Similarly, a college with a diversity of ideas, but little demographic diversity is also a failure. Society is complex, messy, and contested; a lack of diversity of people or ideas will leave our students unprepared for the real world.
In a nutshell, social entrepreneurship is the application of enterprise thinking and applications to solving social problems. Social enterprises vary in size and scope, ranging from the for-profit multinational Newman’s Own food company, which generates $600 million in sales annually, to local coffee shops such as Tallahassee’s non-profit Red-Eye Coffee.