Reflection and Revelation
By Deborah Hoover
Burton D. Morgan Foundation's 50th Anniversary is proving to be more than just a milestone moment--it is an opportunity to reflect on the most important lessons learned over the last five decades about how to empower entrepreneurs. The answer to this question depends on where an entrepreneur is in pursuit of his or her quest. In the last year we have assessed the programs we fund and extracted the key values that flow from our collaborative grant relationships. These values (captured on our new website) undergird how we think about the grants we make to equip youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurs with the right tools. This work prompted us to look at our continuum of grants in a fresh light. For Morgan Foundation, entrepreneurship education for children does not mean that we want all kids to run a business or grow up to be entrepreneurs. What we do want is for all kids to learn how to be adept problem solvers and thereby develop an active entrepreneurial mindset that will serve them well no matter what they eventually do to achieve their dreams. We want the same for college-aged students, although actually running a business at this age is a great way to get a feel for the challenge and gratification of entrepreneurship. For adults, entrepreneurship education is equally important to fill in gaps and address current hurdles, although delivery looks a little different. Scalerator NEO is a great example of just-in-time learning for practicing entrepreneurs seeking to scale a business (www.scaleratorneo.org). The point here is that over time, Morgan Foundation expects to be a catalyst for inspiring people to think differently about their lives, to imagine the possibilities, to harness all their accrued problem solving skills, and then apply this know-how with confidence to grow a venture. If we can do all of this, we will realize the ambition Burt Morgan framed for this Foundation fifty years ago.