Headstream's News
April 4, 2024

Unpacking and Repacking the Meaning of Entrepreneurship

When you imagine the word “entrepreneur” what type of individual do you envision in your mind? Oxford Dictionary defines an entrepreneur as, “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.” That definition is pretty vague and could apply to just about anyone. In the past two decades, the celebration of entrepreneurs as productive, if not crucial, members of the economy has created new ways for individuals to rely on themselves to improve their own circumstances and their communities. Perceptions about the risk surrounding entrepreneurship have also changed. Over these same two decades, the definition has morphed and stereotyped so that it only seems to apply to a select few. Due to the media, entertainment, and pop culture, there is a false narrative that the definition only applies to young, white, men. This narrow and exclusive framing has direct implications of how we envision entrepreneurs in the 21st century, especially on the next generation who don’t fit those metrics.

Unpacking and Repacking the Meaning of Entrepreneurship

How we can recognize the gaps in today’s definition of entrepreneurship?

In order to change perception of who entrepreneurs are, we need to recognize the gaps that exist today. Headstream is powered by SecondMuse, an innovation and impact company that supports building inclusive economies of the future. In trying to put action around that meaning, SecondMuse is helping Headstream redefine how one might define entrepreneurs and how we see the state of entrepreneurship. Recently, SecondMuse debuted a trailblazing study that revealed this preconceived notion of how we view entrepreneurs may be caused by corruption and wealth gaps and creating an environment that makes it more difficult to be an entrepreneur, particularly for BIPOC communities. In addition, the study found that 91% of entrepreneurs that identify as female do not think the economy is very inclusive. Moreover, 70% of entrepreneurs believe that the current economic system only further aggravates income gaps across the country. So, how can we use accelerator programs like Headstream to create more inclusive economies for entrepreneurs who want to positively impact their communities?

How can Headstream support a more inclusive definition of entrepreneurship?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that society desperately needs entrepreneurs who can make a positive impact and not just a profit. At Headstream, we support entrepreneurs that break through those tired and false perceptions of what an entrepreneur is and show that our cohorts' diversity drives our work's real impact. Headstream’s mission is to build supportive and meaningful digital technologies for young people through social tech, digital wellbeing solutions, and educational tools.

Headstream focuses on supporting entrepreneurs that want to create inclusive economies by supporting them in creating positive digital spaces for adults and teens. Headstream is not your average type of accelerator program. We work to actively support entrepreneurs as ecosystem builders while actively addressing the persistent racial and gender gap in access and inclusion. We know we have much more work to do, but we had to start somewhere. By recognizing what actions we can take as a team, we made a concerted effort to determine the gaps in our outreach strategies when we publicized our accelerator program externally. Over the past three application rounds for the accelerator program, we have had more than a thousand applicants. Of those applicants, two-thirds identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, or a person of color. We do not share these findings to give ourselves credit but rather to dismantle the myth that there are only certain types of entrepreneurs. All the Headstream innovators, both past and present, are multi-hyphenate changemakers bringing cutting-edge inclusive social technologies to the market that positively benefit youth. We welcome you to learn more about them here and join our movement to redefine false narratives that have been packaged as definitions around entrepreneurship and innovation.

We know that this movement to provide positive digital spaces for all starts with builders, so we invite you to help us build this community. Stay updated with future opportunities by subscribing to our newsletter below.

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