In the rush of the holiday weekend, the StartupCamp team is slowing down to reflect on the ways entrepreneurs can give back to the country that gave them their start.
Ahhh, the smell of burgers burning, lighter fluid, and sparklers.
The sizzle of the grill and the boom of fireworks.
Pinwheels, t-shirts, and bathing suits all sporting that same fetching red-white-and-blue.
You know what time it is, gang. It only comes once a year and we couldn’t be more excited…
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY.
We know that the chance you’re actually reading this email on Thursday morning is pretty slim, but we wanted to send one anyway to commemorate this most patriotic of holidays and to share some of our thoughts on what makes this day – and our country – special. This is also a special article for us because it is being written by our Editorial Staff as a whole.
The Fourth is that special time when we celebrate the one thing we have in common: being American.
(We write this for our American audience. For our friends in Canada and the rest of the world, we love you, too. Come visit us soon.)
We celebrate our shared history, shared soil, and, above all, our shared future.
Whether your people arrived here ten years ago or 10,000, we are all part of the same mysterious melting pot that preserves all the flavors while somehow blending them together. This diversity is what allows us to create opportunities, innovate, and grow. It is what makes America great.
We have seen over the years that many entrepreneurial and business publications will write articles around the Fourth of July focusing on factors such as these: the conditions in our country that have engendered so many years of life-changing opportunity.
Today, we wanted to focus on the other side of the coin. Because it is so easy to forget that opportunity is a two-way street. We have been afforded great resources and privileges as entrepreneurs living in the United States of America. But by the same token, it’s on us to give back to this country.
It’s on us to ensure that America remains strong, and that opportunity endures for us, our families, and generations to come.
So how can we create a business that benefits our communities and strengthens our country – as opposed to just leeching off the economy?
Here are four ways every American entrepreneur can be mindful about bringing value back to the country that gave them their start.
1. Remember American-made
This is the trickiest one, even for us at StartupCamp. So much opportunity for low overhead and high profits comes from the fact that we can partner with international suppliers for cheap. And that is sometimes the difference between a new entrepreneur making a liveable income or not.
But, the point of remembering American-made is not to ignore smart financial decisions. Rather, it is about considering all of the options presented. To not just choose international without considering the prospect of an American-made product.
Choosing American-made products benefits our country in both your profits and your supplier’s profits, as well.
2. Be active in your community
Whether you know it or not, you personally have influence. There are people around you that value your opinion and will watch and listen to you. Because of this, it’s important to be active in your surrounding community.
Shop local. Participate in community events. Give time and resources to charity. Raise awareness of multiple businesses for the people in your area. All of this increases public engagement with the local economy and, in turn, strengthens it.
3. Mentor new entrepreneurs
No matter how long you’ve been in the entrepreneurship game, the likelihood is that you’ve gained valuable knowledge and experience. Rather than just hold onto all of that knowledge for yourself, a great way to benefit the American economy is to pass along what you’ve learned to new or inspiring entrepreneurs.
One practical way to do this is to join a Mastermind. Not only will you learn from the group, but you’ll also be able to contribute your own perspective to everyone involved. Your input may be exactly what a new entrepreneur needs to take their next step in making their own contribution to society.
4. Hire for Diversity
This is smart. More diverse teams have a greater array of skills and are more innovative. Diversity does not just mean race or ethnicity. It also includes age, gender, culture, language, and financial background…
Focus on providing the opportunity for success to all people because, at the end of the day, we make a greater impact together. Your business and your country will be better for it.
Ultimately, giving back to this country that gave us the opportunity to pursue our dreams comes down to personal duty. Every day, public servants (cops, firefighters, soldiers, teachers, etc.) put their lives and energy on the line to protect us, teach our kids, and strive to make this country better tomorrow, than it was yesterday.
And, as those in the business community, we should do the same.
We want to know the ways you’re intentionally giving back to your country, as an entrepreneur. Let us know in the comments!