Dupont-based Case Foundation officially kicked off its #FacesofFounders project at the White House South by South Lawn event on Monday. #FacesofFounders is a crowdsourced photo project that aims to draw attention to the diversity of America’s entrepreneurs, and it’s part of the Case Foundation’s broader work on inclusive entrepreneurship. In a way the ethos here is similar to the Techies Project which, if you haven’t seen it yet, is so worth your time.
The foundation’s commitment to inclusive entrepreneurship, which was inspired by last summer’s White House demo day, has three main pillars — access to social capital, access to financial capital and “knowledge and inspiration.”
#FacesofFounders primarily serves the third pillar but, Case Foundation VP of Social Innovation Sarah Koch believes, is also key to working with the other two. If we don’t change the way we talk about entrepreneurship and success, she told Technical.ly, then there won’t be diverse entrepreneurs to offer social and financial capital to. It all starts with inspiration.
— Case Foundation (@CaseFoundation) October 3, 2016
So Koch and her colleagues broke out the photo booths and sat on the White House lawn all day on Monday, helping founders snap photos to upload to the #FacesofFounders site. “We want to shine a light on all of those who are already in this space,” she said. And yes, they want the diversity of the faces on the site to show aspiring founders that it is possible.
In a blog post introducing the project Jean Case put it this way: “Our goal is to help change the narrative of how people talk about entrepreneurs, with the goal of leveling the playing field, so everyone has a shot at the American Dream.”
The Case Foundation has partnered with Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs and UBS for the project — in addition to photos entrepreneurs can submit their stories at FacesofFounders.org for a chance to be featured in Fast Company. Five stories of entrepreneurship will ultimately be selected for publication in spring 2017.
Check out #FacesofFounders here and submit your #face before Nov. 22.