Giving Compass’ Take:
• Jean Case at the Case Foundation discusses a book called The Innovation Blind Spot, expanding on the premise that impact investors need to overcome fear in order to create lasting change.
• What are your own biggest blind spots in the realm of social investment? Which practices might help you get past them?
The Innovation Blind Spot was written by my friend, and long-time Case Foundation partner, Ross Baird. True to its title, the book portrays the current state of entrepreneurship, investment and innovation in the United States today, and does so through a prism of “blind spots” that currently inhibit growth and opportunity. But rather than simply laying out the challenges, Ross lays out a “playbook” of how to overcome these blind spots.
The book kicks off with some pretty worrying statistics. While entrepreneurship is — and always has been — at the core of our DNA in America, and many believe it is what sets us apart as a nation, it turns out that entrepreneurial activity is actually at 40-year low in the US — more businesses are dying each day than starting.
Sure, there are sectors that are thriving in our “innovation nation” — particularly big companies, elites on the coasts and those who have historically had access to capital and networks. At the same time, others across the country are literally being left behind in the innovation economy — particularly women, people of color, those in the middle of the country, and those who come from less familiar places and backgrounds …
As all of these books make clear, great innovations come from unexpected people and places, and we need to go the extra mile to identify and support them. “The simple truth,” Ross says, “is that the current model for venture capital — for backing new ideas — is bad for all founders who don’t fit the pattern. It’s bad for investors, too, because the biggest venture capital firms, concentrated in the biggest cities, aren’t necessarily set up to invest in the most innovative ideas.”
Read the full article about getting past blind spots in impact investing by Jean Case at the Case Foundation.
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