Unsung Hero Spotlight: Jacqueline Summers, Anchorage, AK

To you, what is an Ecosystem Builder?

An Ecosystem is a champion, resource, connector, and mentor for entrepreneurs, startups, and other ecosystem builders. Someone who scopes out, provides strategy, and knows how to support, cheerlead, and provide sweat-equity to work toward collaborative economic development goals.

What motivates you as an ecosystem builder?

The creative power and energy involved in trying to make things better.

What is the most successful/impactful program/event/thing you do/have done in your ecosystem?

The work that has given me the most joy and will provide the greatest longterm impact is working with the King Tech Entrepreneurship and Enterprise students. For the past five years I’ve been inspired by the teachers and high school vocational students who learn about entrepreneurship through creating business teams and starting real businesses.

What is your biggest challenge as an ecosystem builder?

I have learned Ecosystem Development through experience and self-study education . I envy those with a background with a more theoretical education and understanding.

What is your biggest frustration as an ecosystem builder?

When people get into turf battles or let their egos get in the way of meeting development goals.

What ecosystem building skill/knowledge do you want to gain?

How do you provide services and resources to people and businesses who, by virtue of their very process, have to be able to be so self-confident they buck and ignore some advice? How do you help without enabling? I want to be a better guide and mentor who provides a good roadmap for empowering self-discovery.

What are the most important things that need to happen to advance the field of ecosystem building?

Who knows how to build a house better, an architect or a carpenter? I think sometimes what makes sense in theory isn’t always practical in practice and a lot of bad programs are the result. Better understanding how theory can provide actionable information would be helpful in advancing the field of ecosystem building.

What others say about Jacqueline:

Jacqueline is the ULTIMATE connector. Recently on the FB page, we were asked what skills one needs to be a Builder and she is the embodiment of them: empathetic, strategic, encouraging, innovative, and also (unfortunately) oftentimes unsung. She’s quietly done so much for our community, rarely seeking the spotlight and always seeking synergy.

Connect with Jacqueline at the Business Enterprise Institute!

Anika Horn

Anika Horn is an ecosystem builder for social change, social enterprise advisor and storyteller. She is on a mission to equip ecosystem builders with the insights, resources and community to lead fulfilling lives and purpose-driven careers. Learn more about her work at SocialVenturers.com and AnikaHorn.com.

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