To Fuel Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Give Communities a Voice


Originally published in Entrepreneur

By Glendowlyn Thames

The pathway for entrepreneurs is frequently filled with roadblocks, especially for women and people of color.  But employing community-driven solutions to shape public policy can help overcome barriers to many of these entrepreneurs’ successes. To find solutions that work, it’s incredibly important that ideas for development are shaped within communities, instead of from outsiders purporting to understand a community’s perspective and needs.

Community engagement is key

Girls for Technology is one of my favorite examples.  It was started by Sabrina Tucker-Barrett, who worked for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut, where she became concerned that local insurers struggled to find qualified workers largely because the school system wasn’t training students for the quality jobs available.

She formed Girls for Technology and began working with local schools to offer STEM-related programming to encourage and prepare young women to be leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Last fall, four Hartford high school students who had participated in the Girls for Technology afterschool program pitched an extraordinary invention to Facebook executives in Menlo Park, California.

Read the full article at Entrepreneur

Glendowlyn Thames is Executive Director at CTNext.