Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder and CEO of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, joined us back in February for our CEO Roundtable. Since then, she has had the opportunity to meet with President Biden and has shared her recent thoughts on what entrepreneurship means. We loved it so much we couldn’t help but re-share!
A beautiful note from President Joe Biden (made me cry). AND MADE ME THINK:
What if the American dream of entrepreneurship isn’t dead, but we just stopped lighting the way?
When I was growing up in Peoria, I saw small businesses everywhere. And people in my life made me aware that it was a path that anyone could take. I never questioned it! But now that’s not being promoted to young people anymore. Instead, we’ve complicated it and promoted some untruths:
1. It’s better to work for someone else than build something yourself.
2. Entrepreneurship is about pitch competitions and funding streams (and making rich people richer); not creativity, imagination, and community-building from the ground up.
3. People who found companies are elite, well-connected and business educated; instead of, well, everyone else.
4. Entrepreneurship is about strapping a rocket to your back, being a unicorn, and getting rich quickly; instead of living on a shoestring, learning as you grow, and building something beautiful that means something to people.
We (the institutions of America: media, govt, education, etc) need to stop promoting entrepreneurship through the eyes of making the rich, richer, and universities. And remind all of us that anyone can START SMALL AND BUILD at anytime.
We need our scrappy, talented, resilient, and resourceful youth to GET. THIS. MESSAGE. @potus knows this. We gotta get through the pandemic, and get out of this crisis. Then, I hope we’ll pivot to changing how we promote and support American entrepreneurship and, in doing so, change the face of ownership (and ultimately, power) in America. Create economic equity and vibrancy!
I’m here for this long game. Lots and lots of learning and work to do but gotta start small and build back better, as @joebiden says!
~ Jeni Britton Bauer
We are with you Jeni & joining you in the long game!!! Let’s do this!!!