Building a global entrepreneurship ecosystem to advance inclusive democracies.
Yordanos Eyoel is an accomplished leader that has spent a decade in venture philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. Most recently, Yordanos was at New Profit, where she was the first person in the organization’s 22-year history to become a Managing Partner from a Portfolio Analyst. In 2019, Yordanos founded New Profit’s Civic Lab, the first nonpartisan venture philanthropy initiative in the US to invest in innovative solutions for civic engagement. In early 2022, Yordanos stepped down as Managing Partner of New Profit to found Keseb, an organization dedicated to building inclusive democracies as a counterweight to growing transnational anti-democratic networks. The Freedom House reports that democracy has been in decline in the US and around the world and that this deterioration is accelerating. Meanwhile philanthropic and governmental investments in democracy causes remain limited in scope, reach, and scale.
Democracy advocates in the US and abroad typically work in isolation from each other, which is a byproduct of prevailing funding models that prioritize either domestic or international efforts, but not both. Yordanos has developed a robust strategy to build a global entrepreneurship ecosystem for 21st century democracy including: supporting democracy entrepreneurs through a fellowship program, connecting practitioners and other stakeholders in the field through a global network, and conducting research and sharing insights to advance solutions and learning. Much like Echoing Green, the Skoll Foundation, and others did to create a global field of social entrepreneurship, Yordanos sees Keseb as the catalyst for a dynamic ecosystem of entrepreneurs that are working to advance inclusive, multigroup democracies around the world.
UP is supporting Yordanos to build Keseb by hiring staff, developing foundational organizational infrastructure and systems, and initiating programming such as the fellowship and research insights.