This text originally appeared in the Washington Business Journal Article “The Time Is Now” June 6th 2020
The region’s business leaders reflect on the racial inequity that led to George Floyd’s death — and talk about what it would take to come together and make real change
By Vandana Sinha — Editor-in-Chief, Washington Business Journal
I was honored to be recognized as a business leader here in the region and given the opportunity to share my thoughts as part of this Washington Business Journal Article; below are my thoughts
The Inclusive Innovation Incubator came into being as part of the mayor’s initiative to address disparities in technical training and small business/entrepreneurship opportunities available to underserved communities in the District. For almost three years now, in partnership with the mayor’s office and Howard University, we have provided office space, event space, programs and services to support, amplify and educate members of that community, most of whom are black. We have offered free technical courses, programs for kids, programs specifically focused on women small business owners, and programs for entrepreneurs focused on tech enabling their businesses.
In the three years of our existence, we have received no financial support, partnership or sponsorship from any business or entity in the District or surrounding community. Entrepreneurs cannot survive without an ecosystem. Taking a look around the country to see where there is success, it can only happen when not only universities and local governments chip in, but when the companies, organizations and foundations do their part also.
It is time for all of us to stop waiting for someone else to make the change, but to ask: What have you really done to make the change? What have you done to support organizations that are trying to make a lasting and sustainable change? This city has changed drastically over the last few years, and we encourage business leaders in the city to look at their own organizations and see what they have done to support those of us laying the groundwork for change here. What can be done to have a positive impact on the inequalities and lack of opportunity that has plagued this nation for decades?
Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to support the people already doing the work, and then get out of their way. Use your access to create access and opportunity for those less fortunate than you.
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