On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff welcomes back John Gallagher, former Detroit Free Press columnist, noted author and WJR Business Beat reporter, who shares his review of Thursday’s sessions during Detroit Startup Week.
Listen to John’s insights, below:
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“If Detroit Startup Week is demonstrating anything, it’s that the startup world is adapting to the new normal created by the coronavirus lockdown.”
– John Gallagher
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Good morning, Paul.
Well, as you know, this is Detroit Startup Week, going on all week here in Detroit this year, it’s all virtual, no in person meetings or events at all, all taking place online. The first of its kind in the world, as I understand, and we’ve got our Business Beat reporter, our StartupNation Business Beat reporter, John Gallagher, who’s going to give us a review from yesterday’s conference.
If Detroit Startup Week is demonstrating anything, it’s that the startup world is adapting to the new normal created by the coronavirus lockdown. Thursday morning saw a thoughtful discussion of social entrepreneurship, featuring Dr. Marcus Harris, the lecturer in entrepreneurship at the university of Michigan Dearborn dispelling the myth that social entrepreneurs are somehow different from all other entrepreneurs.
Harris said that social entrepreneurship follows the same process that traditional entrepreneurship does. Quote, “You still have to raise capital,” he said. “You still have to have a product or service that fills a customer or market need.” What’s different, he said, is the motivation. The goal is to pursue a social mission, perhaps creating more jobs for low income people or generating profits to share with the community.
But you’re pursuing that social mission through commercial means. Generating social value begins with having a successful business. Quote, “social entrepreneurs make money,” Harris said. They still generate profits. The only difference is that the main goal is designed to create social impact. He cited the example of Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, New York, whose motto is, quote, “We don’t hire people to bake brownies. We bake brownies to hire people.”
Jeff Sloan, CEO of StartupNation, said the coronavirus crisis has revealed how unnecessary were some of the old ways of doing this, like flying to the west coast for a one-hour business meeting. A lot of these things are being shaken out of business today, he said, but it took a crisis to break down such hardened business habits.
“It was a hard thing to disrupt how we were doing business before,” he said.
These sessions and more at Detroit Startup Week illustrate that the coronavirus crisis presents opportunities for entrepreneurs as well as challenges. As Jeff Sloan said, quote, “Now more than ever, the intuition of an entrepreneur comes into play today like never before.”
For StartupNation, this is John Gallagher.
Thanks John. We’ve got one more great day of Detroit Startup Week ahead.
Don’t miss it today. A couple of highlights to point out. We’ve got women owned businesses in Michigan, that’s StartupNation Radio live featuring RJ King and Monica Wheat. That’ll be at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM today.
And then, how about The Power of a Photograph led by the one and only Linda Solomon, check that out at 11:00 AM today as well.
There’s lots of other great programming and I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.
This segment brought to you by Dell Technologies.