How Does Impact Entrepreneurship Look Like to Me?

How Does Impact Entrepreneurship Look Like to Me?

(This post is reposted from an interview with The Parsons: The New School. You can find the original article here.)

Who is Johanna?

I am a Multi-disciplinary Designer and Art Director based New York City, originally from a small town in Sweden. I’m extremely passionate about sustainability and veganism, helping communities and to building a better future for the world. I have worked with non-profit organizations like Blue Endeavors, NCPA, and sustainable/vegan brands in my local community. My most recent work has been with the free-streaming service Tubi who’s mission is to unlock movies, TV shows and news/sports for people who are tired of or simply not able to pay for streaming. This Summer I’m volunteering design support with non-profit organizations, for example at the moment I’m helping a local SF soccer team which is super exciting (even though I barely know anything about sports, but I’m learning!)

What does impact entrepreneurship mean to you? Is it different from being a “regular” entrepreneur? How so?

In a perfect universe, there wouldn’t be a distinction between an “impact” vs a “regular” entrepreneur — I believe that deep within every human there is an intuitive need to help other people in any way we can. However, there are companies and organizations out there who make it pretty clear what their real intentions are. In my view, impact entrepreneurship means that the need for helping others, building connections, and making a positive impact on people’s life (and the world) comes first before fame and profit.

In a perfect universe, there wouldn’t be a distinction between an “impact” vs a “regular” entrepreneur.

From your experience, what is the biggest obstacle young entrepreneurs face? Any advice for them?

In this noisy world that we live in and with so many to compare ourselves two, it’s easy to want to do everything! My advice is don’t be afraid to niched — do one thing and become extremely good at it. That’s how you build trust and break through the noise. If you later want to pivot or add to your product/service that’s fine, but it’s important to build a solid foundation first if you want to succeed. There are probably hundreds if not thousands of companies that are doing the same thing — it can be discouraging competing in the market! But remember that your unique experience matters so try to find a solution to people’s problems with your special expertise in mind.

Another cliché, that I still want to mention because it’s so overlooked, is to not be afraid to ask for help. I get it — it’s honorable and more “convenient” to tackle everything by yourself, but there are so many people who have already gone through the same challenges that you’re facing, and the best use of your time is to reach out to someone who has solved the same problems as you’re facing right now. Back to what I mentioned earlier — we all have a basic human need to help each other out. And if you for any reason get a no (or ghosting for that matter) remember that it’s not you, there can be 100 reasons why the person is not able to help you at the moment. Luckily there are plenty of people out there who are willing to give their advice!