Diary of a Social Venture Start-up

Meet our new business columnist, a self-taught entrepreneur who will be chronicling what it takes to launch a social venture. He'll be...

Meet our new business columnist, a self-taught entrepreneur who will be chronicling what it takes to launch a social venture. He'll be here every two weeks to share his successes, failures, and to answer your questions.

If you're a regular on this site, chances are that you're already ahead of the game where change is concerned. You can rattle off the names of major players pushing environmental and political initiatives forward; you know greenwashing when you see it; you've got strong opinions about the problems the world is facing and ideas about how to help solve them.

Now what if you want to take things a step further? What if you want to do something more than simply volunteering or writing a check? How do you get started? These were some of my questions a year ago. I wanted to help change things. I didn't have money. I didn't have connections. What I had was an idea.

A year later, I'm in the process of launching a company dedicated to creating change. I've put a team together, crafted a business plan, and begun trying to raise start-up capital. It's still early, but we're gaining traction. So while this might not make me an expert at entrepreneurship, it does make me someone who might be able to help show you what it takes to launch a social venture. I'm not some 65-year-old CEO telling you what it was like "back when I got started." I'm not trying to sell you a how-to book. I'm just a guy who's in the middle of living it.

In short: Hi. I'm Joe. I'll be your friendly tour guide. I'll be here every two weeks to update you on our progress. You'll hear about issues facing social-venture start-ups, hear from people in the business, and acquire random useful tidbits I've learned along the way.

People will tell you that starting a business is all about taking that first step-that it's all about sitting down and hashing out the Big Idea. You know what? That's a load of crap. Sure, the first step is important, but it's the next 16,000 steps that actually make things happen. The idea is the easy part; turning the idea into a business takes work. Before I sat down to write this, I made myself a sandwich. Even that took five steps. A sustainable business should probably be a little harder to make than lunch. So, the next time someone gives you the "first step" routine, here's what you should do: Stop listening.

I'm not going to talk about step one. I'm going to focus instead on what comes next, from building a network and establishing a team to writing a business plan and seeking funding. I will also talk about my own successes and failures. In trying to launch my own venture, I'm going to screw up. It's going to happen. And when I do, you'll hear about it. Everyone makes mistakes, and I know I'll learn from mine; I'm hoping you can, too.

Basically, I'm going to try to write the column I wish I'd had one year ago. If I read something interesting, I'm going to link to it. If there's someone I think you should know, I'm going to interview them. Pretty much anything I think will be helpful. And if there's something you'd like to see more of, some topic you think needs tackling, email me at feedback (at) josephippolito (dot) com or post it in the comments section.

This column may not provide you with a fail-proof business blueprint (I've got no guarantees my own business will even fly), but I can promise that you'll learn something. Each column will end with a takeaway section-key things that you need to know. So, if you're in a hurry or you just feel like bypassing my yammering, skip to the bottom, get the info, then go fix yourself a sandwich. If you do it right, it'll only take you about five steps.

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Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

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Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.