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The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur

Filed in Uncategorized — July 19, 2017

In our blog we’ve pulled back the veil on our approach and methodologies through a largely ‘plug and play’ resources and Masterclasses so you can skillfully engage the funding partners your mission deserves.

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by Natalie Lynn Rekstad, Founder & CEO, Black Fox Philanthropy

Jonathan at a San Francisco Book Launch earlier this month

In The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur, Jonathan Lewis does more than inspire readers to “kick injustice in the ass, twice” through social entrepreneurship; he describes his own unfolding as a social justice warrior, weaving in a layer of passion borne of growing up in a working class family in San Francisco during the 1960s, a time and place where activism spread like wildfire.  By inviting us on his five decades-long journey to impact through stories filled with wit and compassion, Jonathan becomes a sage and irreverent companion for readers’ own paths to social justice.

The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur is an insightful read that reflects the ethical issues presented to us daily, and challenges us to find our place in solving the world’s greatest problems.  It ignites a fire in the belly to take a stand for humanity and ourselves, while describing some of the most incredible change agents on the planet. Jonathan is a champion of both the individual and collaboration, both vital to effective and lasting change.  The book brings in voices from around the globe.  I was moved by a particular passage from Grace Mofoluwake Anike Omolara, Executive Director of Nigeria-based Independent Living for People with Disabilities: “Your passion finds you. When I set out to help others, I succeeded in helping myself.  It makes me feel accomplished as a human being.

Or as Jonathan puts it, “It’s as much fun as I’m permitted to have in public.

Black Fox Philanthropy team members Michelle Jaffe, Sarah Bachar, and Julia Slusarz with Jonathan’s book – the perfect read for our young change makers!

The book is a series of essays that can be read independently, each holding valuable wisdom and insight; however, the flow of the book has a cadence that keeps you absorbed in Jonathan’s journey while serving as a guidepost in your own social impact career.  The final chapter features his encounter with “Musetta”, meaning “little muse” — a name attributed to her by Jonathan by an unforgettable experience in which he learns through microfinance she is reliably feeding and clothing her children for the first time.  The impact upon him is profound, and in later founding MCE Social Capital, he becomes a fierce champion for the Musettas of the developing world by leveraging over $100 million of private capital into microloans in the developing world.  In short, the man walks his talk.

Jonathan does not claim to have all the answers (and considers himself the “unfinished” entrepreneur of the title), but the insights in the book are guaranteed to alter your perspective on privilege, justice, and inequality.  It will make you laugh, it might even make you weep, but most importantly it leave you changed for the better:  more informed, more inspired, and more connected to humanity and your place in its dance between justice and injustice.  As Jonathan posits, What is social entrepreneurship if not a love affair with justice?

Read more about Jonathan, and why this book was uniquely his to write, in this Black Fox Philanthropy profile:  On the Side of Hot Dogs and Humanity.