This week, the Sundance Family Foundation publically announced their strategic focus on the burgeoning field of Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) with the release of their new White Paper, Youth Social Entrepreneurship: Advancing the Field by Dr. Tina Kruse of Macalester College. We at Urban Roots are equally excited about this release and commend the leadership of the Sundance Family Foundation in recognizing the need for advancing this field.
YSE integrates the fields of positive youth development, social entrepreneurship and community development and builds on the common intersection where entrepreneurial small business projects not only teach practical life skills. It also provide opportunities for our young people to practice collaboration, show leadership and provide larger community benefits in the process.
Urban Roots has been active in this arena on the East Side of Saint Paul since 1996 working with teens, providing employment and education through our Market Garden, Conservation and Cooking and Wellness Programs. We have always had confidence that the work we are doing is right for the youth and right for our collective future, and have the framework, goals and results to show this. However, this new White Paper advances this field by providing a needed definition, framework and common language unique to this innovative action for social and economic transformation.
At Urban Roots, we work with teens (ages 14–18) who are primarily youth of color from lower income families. Together, we create hope and opportunities for their future education and careers through boots-on-the-ground activities in food, environment, health and community engagement. Kudos to the Sundance Family Foundation in taking a leadership role in this field. We look forward to accompanying them in the exciting and innovative future of YSE!