the view of Miami from Key Biscayne, photo credit: Allison Diaz

Miami has a reputation as a visually appealing city.  Beyond the celebrities and models that may have conveyed that image, there’s a lot of natural and man-made beauty in the 305. Art Deco hotels on Miami Beach. Old Spanish homes in Coral Gables.  Modern architecture on Brickell and in the Grove.  The isolated charm of Fisher Island.  Sailboats and other watercraft on the Bay. The skyline against the Bay.

But, the story that we tell as of late is about the depth beyond the superficial structures and natural beauty.  We talk about the work that is underway to build an entrepreneurial community in Miami.  According to the 2016 Kauffman Index of Startup activity, Miami ranks 2nd, following only Austin, Texas for the number of new businesses created.  We have work to do to scale those businesses–increasing the jobs created and overall economic impact of this surge in entrepreneurship–but business creation is rampant.

A nascent movement to apply an entrepreneurial approach to social ventures is underway as well.  Two weeks ago, the Miami chapter of Social Venture Partners (SVP) launched to provide funding, guidance and professional expertise to enterprises whose primary return is to the community.  The first purpose-driven venture that will receive assistance from the eleven founding partners of SVP Miami is a pop-up barbershop operated by the Overtown Youth Center. Along with haircuts, the barbers dispense advice and counsel.  The young men served by the project leave each appointment with their self-esteem improved by both style and substance.

Beyond the islands, the architecture, the homes, and the skyline, our entrepreneurial community—including the newly launched SVP Miami–is at work adding depth to the beautiful facade.