A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride:
My favrite experiences of the past few weeks as pandemic restrictions lift:
• People-watching at an outdoor restaurant. I watched hundreds of people come and go, maskless, with flesh hanging out every other way on a hot summer day. At another restaurant, I overheard the owner musing about expansion. The next few months will feel explosive …
• Taking my daughter to get her second shot. We’d gotten misdirected on the way, and arrived just after hours. Two health care volunteers unpacked their computer and the shots to get her vaccinated, and a doctor sat with us in the waiting area. I got the same feeling that I had at each of our visits – that for all the talk of America pulling apart, there are many more examples of people pulling together.
• My first in-person business-ish coffee, with Brigit Helms, executive director of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. We came up with a million good ideas. We hugged afterwards. Online meetings have their good points (they enable you to invite geographically distant people) and bad points (Hello? Phone conversations are so much better one-on-one). But in-person is always best.
And I remembered this: At the beginning of the pandemic, I read Pale Horse Pale Rider, by Katherine Anne Porter. It is one of the few examples of literature to come out of the 1918 pandemic, which has been called “the forgotten pandemic.” The novella is about the pandemic that took her young lover and spared her. What do you make of the feeling of being randomly spared while someone you love was taken? What do you do with that impossible feeling? The name Pale Horse Pale Rider is taken from an old spiritual, signaling impossibility of understanding.
The story of the 1918 pandemic was lost in the narrative of World War I. It’s easy to make our usual black-and-white stories of heroes and villains out of a war. In the explosion of energy that comes after being pent up, it’s important to remember the pandemic. The feeling of being spared is a reminder not to take any of it for granted.
This week, as the previous two, the first person to respond to this email gets a free copy of The New Builders, the book I co-authored with venture capitalist Seth Levine. Also — we recently switched email providers, so you might need to add us to your email contacts. Instructions for that are at the bottom of this email.
Times of Entrepreneurship Stories of the Week
A Shoe Company Founder Sold His Company To Warren Buffett, And For The People Of Maine, That Has Made All The Difference
His 70-year-old foundation plugs holes in the state’s education and financial infrastructure, aiding entrepreneurs like pizza dough maker Heather Kerner. The US will soon know the results of one of its big experiments, giving $500 in savings for every child born in Maine.
THE HUB: Chicago’s Black People Eats Announces Juneteenth Festival For Next Year; Under Fire, Amazon Announces Aid For Black-Owned Businesses; And A $100K Competition in Latin America
As the Biden administration ushers in a new holiday, some businesses find creative ways to celebrate—like a new campaign to support June deals at Black-owned eateries. Meanwhile, Amazon plans to commit $150 million over four years to Black-owned businesses. And the MIT Sloan Latin America Office and the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology will launch the $100,000 LATAM Competition for ventures in Latin America and the Caribbean.
You may have missed: Commentary: Entrepreneurs Defy Twitter Ban In Nigeria The government’s action costs an estimated $6 million a day. Long term, the cost of VPNs may exclude many in powerhouse economy of 200M.
What Happened In Jammu and Kashmir After An Internet Shutdown: Businesses Lost, Trust Damaged In recent years, at least a quarter of the countries in the world have resorted to internet shutdowns, says one watchdog.
Living the Dream
Best practices: The wind turbine maker Vestas just revealed a new technology that promises to make wind turbine blades fully recyclable—which could be a game changer. Most blades currently get landfilled.
Buzzworthy: The causes of the racial wealth gap in the U.S. are complicated, but the solutions can be remarkably straightforward, according to former Harvard Business School professor Steven Rogers’ book A Letter to My White Colleagues: What You Can Do Right Now To Help the Black Community. One recommendation to act on right now: Spend money with Black-owned businesses, so they can help to create jobs.
The 4.5 hour workweek : A productivity hack
If you’re always late—and suffering the consequences—it may not be your fault. You may have time-blindness, a condition in which some people are unable to process the passage of time properly. Fortunately, it’s possible to find work-arounds, like using visual cues, so you can get back in control of your calendar.
Made in the U.S.A.
The Fourth of July is just around the corner. If you’re in the market for a flag and want to make sure it is actually made in the USA, look no further. The Tough Tex American flag from Annin Brand is designed for heavy duty use. Prices start at $62.50 for a 3 x 5 foot flag.
Wanderlust : a restaurant or activity from our Top Ecosystems list
Phoenix has a crackling hot startup scene. If you’re in town to do business, check out the canal trails that run through central Phoenix. They’ll take you through neighborhoods such as Arcadia, Biltmore Fashion Park and Camelback Colonnade, offering easy, off-pavement hiking.
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This story and others on New Builders Dispatch are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.