There has never been a better time to be a sustainable entrepreneur. Commercial markets are seeking innovation to help solve the world’s greatest problems such as climate change. It is both fortunate and unfortunate that there is almost an endless need for what we do.
Despite the demand for sustainable entrepreneurship, sometime being an entrepreneur can be a lonely endeavor, especially when working to address some of our planet’s greatest environmental challenges such as climate change. At the Heart of Waraba, we want you know that you are not alone.
The dramatic growth of our industry has been accompanied by the emergence of many fantastic incubators, accelerators, and other resources for sustainable entrepreneurs who are looking to grow a business and make a difference in the world. To complement existing resources, the Heart of Waraba has been established with a unique purpose. We are not teaching how to be an entrepreneur.
Our mission is to explore the heart of sustainable entrepreneurs, connecting them to each other and supporting them on their journey. The Heart of Waraba establishes connections through appreciative inquiry and storytelling. We are building our programs now, and we would love to hear your story. In fact, please toggle video or written interview if you would like to share your story.
Survey of the Heart of the Social Entrepreneur
An important tool to foster connection and promote understanding is to share about our entrepreneurial journeys through surveys. We will regularly post simple 1-question surveys on the Heart of Waraba website and embed them in our blogs. Questions will not address business issues such as growth, job creation, or market forecasting.
Our questions will be a survey of the heart because our success as entrepreneurs is not based on our intellectual capacity and technical skills alone. Issues of the heart include emotional intelligence, intention, teamwork, and leadership. We want to provide an opportunity for your data to be aggregated with hundreds of others, so it can shed light on our common struggles and best practices.
Data gathered by the Heart of Waraba surveys will be complemented by individual stories of real entrepreneurs who are in the midst of making important decisions and overcoming challenges. Not all the wisdom for the entrepreneurial community should come from hyper-successful leaders, like Elon Musk. Sometime our best teachers can be each other.
Combining both stories and data is key to understanding the heart of the sustainable entrepreneur. And knowing your heart is critical to creating a enterprise that is profitable and resilient.
Before you take the survey, let’s define some terms. For our purposes, we can borrow a definition by Brett Nelson: in the purest sense, Entrepreneurs are those who identify a need—any need—and fill it. Entrepreneurs have the insight and courage to create something new.
Although we typically associate entrepreneurs with new startup businesses, I believe entrepreneurs’ creative energy can launch nonprofit organizations, new business lines of existing companies, or even innovative government programs. A social entrepreneur has the intention of using her enterprise to create a public good, such as poverty alleviation or increased access to health care.
Sustainable entrepreneurship is a subset of social entrepreneurship. There is not a good, ready definition of “sustainable entrepreneur” on the Internet, so let’s define it here:
Sustainable Entrepreneur: A person who creates a new business, organization, or other enterprise with the intention to make the world more sustainable.
Sustainable is the last term that we should define as we launch the Heart of Waraba. There are ample definitions of the word on the Internet. I still like the one conveyed by the Brundtland Commission when it coined the term “sustainable development” back in 1987. Here is the definition from the commission’s landmark paper, Our Common Future: Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
With common definitions as a foundation, let’s get started with our first 1-question survey.
The first survey is just the beginning. The cumulative knowledge that our community will gain through surveys will help us to paint the portrait of the sustainable entrepreneur in all his or her color, complexity, and depth. All individual responses will remain confidential, but aggregated results will be shared freely with the hope that survey data can help spark dialogue and connection.
Thank you for completing the survey. Let’s give a roar for the entrepreneur.