If you’re familiar with Block Knowledge, you may be familiar with our use of the term “underestimated founders”. In 2014, when thinking about the entrepreneurs we serve, the communities we represent, and the aspirations we have for our organization, we realized there were few terms that encompassed not only our tangible goals, but the heart and stories behind them as well. The terms that are already heavily in use by society at large didn’t feel right for us: “underrepresented”, “marginalized”, “disadvantaged”, “minority”. Each of these terms carries unspoken allusions to a lack of something, each of these terms focuses not on who we serve or why we serve, but on the obstacles in the way of our successes. Our entrepreneurs and our communities aren’t lacking anything, they have the strength, skills, and fortitude to achieve anything laid in front of them, especially when given the right support and the right resources. They aren’t “underserved” by society, they’re “underestimated” by society.
“Underestimated founders” are founders who come from communities that have been misjudged and typecast for far too long.
“Underestimated founders” are those who have tried to pitch and receive funding but are told their ideas are too small, that their product is too niche, that their ideas are focused too much on a specific demographic (read: not the majority demographic).
“Underestimated founders” are all the powerful women who stand up for themselves, what they believe in, and know their business idea can make the world better for others like them.
“Underestimated founders” are the immigrants who have great ideas and drive, who work hard to achieve their goals, despite the odds being stacked against them.
“Underestimated founders” are the hustlers, the block builders, and the disruptors who make change, while taking everyone to the top along with them.
“Underestimated Founders” are the dreamers, literally the Dreamers who say, “This is not right”, and strive to change everything to build a better world for themselves and others.
Finally, “Underestimated Founders” are the passionate, “give first” type of people, who believe in sharing information, sharing resources, and will provide for others before their own selves, because they know that’s what it takes to build a community.
At Block Knowledge, our goal isn’t just to provide resources or mentorship. We don’t just show our entrepreneurs the steps they should take to achieve success, give them the road map, and wish them luck. While we do these things and much more, we also give our entrepreneurs something less tangible, but more important. Less measurable, more impactful. What is that, you’re wondering? We believe in them. We know our founders can do great things, that when introduced to the right people and the right resources they can flourish and shine and change the world. We know that while the communities our founders come from may not have the resources we’ve come to uphold, they have the resourcefulness and creativity that is unrivaled. We know that while others in our society may not view our founders as fitting the bill for the average success story, that they can create their own success story.
So, who are these “underestimated founders”? Believe us when we say, they’re all around you. As for our “underestimated founders”? Well, we’re glad you asked.