Socially Driven serves as a network, support system, and resource for entrepreneurs seeking to do good in the world — starting with their own communities. It connects business owners who share social goals and empowers them with tools, mentors, solutions, and innovative ideas to ensure a success that lifts those overlooked by Silicon Valley and Wall Street.
This mission addresses a gap in the market. Many business and entrepreneurship magazines exist, but they fail to speak to and support the work of women, Black, and minority social entrepreneurs. Recent market data points to a surge in interest in social entrepreneurship and an increase in women, Black and minority-owned businesses. In an analysis of the Deloitte Human Capital Trends of 2018, Forbes found that 77% of surveyed companies rated “citizenship and social impact” among their top priorities. And a survey of 2,700 businesses by Guidant Financial and LendingClub Corp. found that Black businesses grew in 2018 by more than 400%. Additionally, a 2014 study from the Gallup HOPE Index Report shows 50% of minority youth aspire to be business owners compared to 37% of white classmates, and a 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report found from 1997 to 2015, Black, women-owned firms grew 322% and Latina-owned firms grew 224%.
As a young entrepreneur, I struggled to find a connection with the major business magazines I read. Looking through those publications, I failed to see anyone who shared my skin color or my zip code. I grew bored, weary, and bothered by seeing only stereotypical stories of venture-capital entrepreneurs in San Francisco or New York City guided solely by the goal to create new wealth for themselves, their investors, and their board of directors. Socially Driven speaks to a different audience fueled by a different prize — young, impact-seeking people from marginalized communities who want to generate wealth for those in their neighborhood, address issues of inequity, and fix societal problems informed by the environment, education, and poverty.
To do that, Socially Driven’s mission offers four verticals: Innovate, which highlights tech solutions and imaginative ideas; Catalysts, which features mentors and their wisdom; and Good Work, a business-minded collection of service stories.
The final vertical, City Spotlight, changes monthly and highlights entrepreneurial hubs’ resources, businesses, programs, leaders, and opportunities. For this launch issue, the editorial team picked Detroit, my hometown and the place where the idea of Socially Driven was born. As I was completing interviews for a class project, I spoke to two social entrepreneurs who were 10 minutes away from each other; yet, they were unaware that each other existed. That realization and the need and benefit I saw in connecting those two entrepreneurs inspired me to create a publication and a business that would do just that. Socially Driven exists as a network for our readers, whom we refer to as “Drivers,” and who range from aspiring to established social entrepreneurs in communities like Detroit.
Our readers and story subjects possess an interest in and connection to the social issues in the world around us. We’d be remiss if we failed to address them in our content. As COVID-19 spread throughout the globe, it decimated minority communities at a rapid rate. A CDC study shows that of the available data of reported U.S. COVID-19 cases, 55.6% were Black and Hispanic or Latino. Furthermore, police brutality continued to exist as another epidemic, murdering members of the Black community in striking numbers and in painfully visible ways, these issues also informed many of the stories you’ll find in this issue such as businesses transitioning online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and socially-conscious artists using their medium for social good.
The idea for Socially Driven has lived in my head for quite some time, and what you have on your screen is the culmination of that idea, a competition, classroom experience, and a multitude of resources. Over the past few months, the question circulating between my leadership team and I was, “when do we launch?” And because everything in the publication is strategic, we picked August – National Black Business Month.
I want Socially Driven to serve as a tool of motivation, assistance, and information about social entrepreneurship — whether you’re an interested newbie looking for assistance to take an idea and build it or a seasoned pro looking for inspiration and the opportunity to share your experience to help the community. I invite you to connect with others, take notes, and get social! You’re officially a Driver now. Welcome to the club.
Kyla L. Wright
Members of the 2020 magazine, newspaper, and online journalism graduate program produced this as their capstone experience at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Kyla L. Wright
Web & Digital Media Manager
Social Media Manager
Lark Allen, Veer Badani, Mitchell Bannon, Chantelle Boateng, Mateo A. Cardenas-Clarimon, Nicholas D’Alessandro, Camille Daniels, Nyasha Drakes, Matt Geraci, Andrea Guzmán, Zharia Jeffries, Joaquin Mancera, Claribel Rivas, Tanner Russ, Asiah Williams