Scott Anderson

Small is Powerful: Join the Changemakers’ Discussion: NextBillion is partnering with SAP and Ashoka to highlight big impact from small entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are the economic equivalent of utility infielders in baseball. (Sorry, but as we’re the throes of championship baseball here in the U.S. it’s the only analogy that comes to mind). But the term applies to cricket players as well – only they’re called “rounders.” Utility infielders can play just about any position in the baseball infield competently, and are often pressed into service when another team mate is injured.

Many entrepreneurs, especially social entrepreneurs working in difficult business climates, are performing multiple tasks, sometimes without the larger infrastructure for support. Recognizing and managing this massive challenge is at the heart of the new global competition from SAP and Ashoka Changemakers called The Power of Small: Entrepreneurs Strengthening Local Economies.

The competition judges are in the process of selecting the top finalists with the most innovative strategies that help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in under-served communities. You can cast your vote beginning Oct. 22. All of the finalists have been invited to the SAP SAPPHIRE NOW Conference November 13-15 in Madrid where four winners will be announced. (The four entries with the most votes will each receive a comprehensive capital, technology and promotion package from SAP – including a cash prize of US $10,000 and a technology donation to optimize performance and scale-up operations).

Between then and now, the discussion of how to help small entrepreneurs expand their reach, their network and ultimately their impact, continues. This week Logan Yonavjak, with the Conservation Investment Note Program and a regular NextBillion contributor, is currating the online chat. Several of Logan’s and other NextBillion contributors’ articles will also be cross-posted on the competition blog.

I encourage you to check out, not only NextBillion’s posts, but those of many other entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders. And while you’re there, let Logan know what’s on your mind.