What is Democracy Entrepreneurship?
The Democracy Entrepreneurs organization and model has been honed after hundreds of personal conversations with democracy entrepreneurs, policy experts, democracy activists and social entrepreneurs who have experience in building such a movement. Our research suggests that many of the seeds of democratic reform have already been planted – a new generation of dedicated, moral leaders is working to improve the scaffolding of our democracy, but they desperately need a supportive environment. There is no shortage of good ideas in this space, as think tanks and institutes have suggested common-sense fixes for decades that have gone largely unaddressed. Our democracy needs creative “doers” making change (often at the local or state levels) within the force of a broader movement. And we need to support these capable leaders with a thriving ecosystem of funders, peers and organizational knowledge which will help us today and also build a pipeline of such democracy entrepreneurs for future threats to our democracy.
Example of Democracy Entrepreneurship #1:
Democracy Entrepreneur: Emily Cherniack
Organization: New Politics
Their Important Work: “We believe we should expect more from our political leaders — that courage, integrity, and empathy aren't too much to ask for. We encourage and help outstanding military veterans and national service leaders who step up to serve our country again, this time through politics – from congress to school board. It's time for political leaders who are guided by the call to serve and a shared sense of purpose for America — leaders who are committed to putting country over party and people over partisan politics.”
Example of Democracy Entrepreneurship #2:
Democracy Entrepreneur: Daniella Ballou-Aares
Organization: Leadership Now Project
Their Important Work: The Leadership Now Project is a membership organization of business professionals concerned about the future of our democracy. Traditional models of giving to causes, candidates, and parties are insufficient for the challenges we face. A more strategic approach is required. Leadership Now Project enables its members to strategically engage in the threats to the fundamentals of democracy, including low voter turnout, gerrymandering, campaign finance rules, and a lack of highly qualified candidates are problems that require immediate attention as well as a long-term focus.
Example of Democracy Entrepreneurship #3:
Democracy Entrepreneur: Brianna Cea
Organization: Generation Vote
Their Important Work: We are millennials, activists, and campaign veterans looking to turn the political process upside down. We created a new model of engagement that disrupts the political process, empowers young people to take control of the narrative, and change the direction of our local communities. We are the next generation of politicians, teachers, doctors, and engineers. Our vote can determine the future of our country. To do this, we need to organize a bottom-up youth-driven movement. We need to be Generation Vote.
Example of Democracy Entrepreneurship #4:
Democracy Entrepreneur: Stephen Waldman
Organization: Report for America
Their Important Work: “The crisis in journalism has become a crisis for our democracy. Our mission: To strengthen our communities and our democracy through local journalism that is truthful, fearless, fair and smart.Local coverage has been decimated. Residents no longer get the information they need to understand the critical issues facing their community, to make good decisions for their family, and hold elected officials accountable.”