Throughout America’s history, entrepreneurship has defined our evolution as a country. Farmers, industrialists, technologists, research scientists, engineers and others have drawn on America’s robust spirit of enterprise to create something from nothing over and over again. They have invited others to participate as employees, customers and colleagues, empowering them to improve their personal situations and those of the broader community.
Traditionally defined entrepreneurs risk capital and thus potentially benefit from its growth; yet, America also has long possessed a spirit of social entrepreneurship, attracting innovators more interested in improving our collective quality of life without concern for personal financial reward. They plant churches, build gardens, launch charter schools, design research centers, protect animals and ecosystems, develop energy sources, train workers, counsel families, feed communities, educate children, heal and comfort the sick and injured, and care for the old and the young.
Throughout our history, entrepreneurs traditional and social have been able to explore, create, finance, grow and innovate because others have served the country at home as police officers, firefighters, coast guard sailors and other emergency workers, and throughout the world as soldiers, sailors, marines and pilots of the United States armed forces. This third pillar of safety and security—implemented in a Constitutional context with rule of law—creates an opportunity for entrepreneurship not available to most global citizens.
We are appreciative to be part of a system and culture that philosophically believes in the ability and potential of each person to provide for themselves and their families; that possesses a robust collection of entrepreneurs—traditional and social—who strive to help make that potential a reality; and that is served by those who put themselves on the line every day to protect both who we are today and who we can still be in the future.
For these critical elements of American life—and for your friendship—we are thankful.