This time of year, people from all over the country don their best hipster duds, dust off their cowboy boots and descend on Austin, Texas, for SXSW (pro tip: just call it “South by”).
The smorgasbord of panels, films, events and concerts every spring has elevated Austin’s national reputation as a hub for technology, breakfast tacos, and great craft beer. But visitors might miss Austin’s year-round vibe as an emerging center of enterprise-driven social innovation.
Long a hub for technology innovation — starting with the founding of Dell in 1984 — Austin is now also a hub for social innovation. The city’s economic and population growth over the last two decades has given rise to a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. The city’s progressive culture and community obsession with supporting small business (“keep Austin weird”), has a long history of creating socially-minded business — Austin did, after all, birth Whole Foods.
Many of the city’s entrepreneurs are bent on building organizations that will change the world for the better.
Austin denizens boldly envision a world-renowned capital for live music and social innovation. By bringing together human and financial capital, innovative models and a commitment to collaboration, Austin provides an approach to inclusive growth other cities can learn from.
Read the full article about Austin as the capital of entrepreneurship by Amy Bell at ImpactAlpha.
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