Ecosystem building can be a lonely, exhausting endeavor. There are times when many ecosystem builders feel like the work they are doing is unvalued and unappreciated. It feels like people don’t care about what we do. We shed the light on and celebrate entrepreneurs but there are woefully few who shed the light on and celebrate ecosystem builders. Startup Champions Network member Anika Horn reflects on the challenge and offers words of encouragement to her fellow ecosystem builders.

To my fellow ecosystem builders who want to make this world more equitable, fair and just: know that you are not alone. If you operate in an ecosystem that supports social entrepreneurs — be it as a mentor, investor, accelerator, incubator, work space, advisor, government representative, or in any function that helps reduce barriers and create opportunity for social entrepreneurs — let this be a reminder to you that your work matters. If you work to help purpose-driven entrepreneurs in your community thrive, I hope you make a decent income, are showered in thank you notes (because you deserve it), and your community recognizes how much value you are creating by offering your time, an open door, introductions, mentoring and referrals. And if that’s not the case, don’t be discouraged. Keep at it.

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