My Philanthropic Organization

You have been given $1 million to set up a philanthropic organization. What would it support and why?

I find it disturbing that many people - particularly minorities, youth and women - are so daunted by the prospect of starting a business that they choose not to do so. I believe that society must work to provide equal opportunities for all citizens; what people choose to do with the opportunities presented to them is their own prerogative. This belief contradicts the common notion of equality of outcomes: that society should provide some guaranteed level of income or wealth regardless of the effort and ingenuity of the individual. In keeping with these beliefs, I would use the $1 million to create an organization that fosters entrepreneurship among young, primarily urban, minorities.

The organization would offer programs offering intensive classroom learning and applied business challenges, then underwrite small grants and loans to help successful students launch businesses. The group would continue to support graduates with ongoing financial and operational assistance. For example, the organization would provide introductions to potential business partners, and workshops on topics such as accounting for the small businessperson. The organization would hold round-tables where graduates could return to the classroom to discuss...

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