Building a company is incredibly hard, yet incredibly rewarding when you are building a company that’s creating solutions directly impacting our next generation of change agents.
In this episode of Vehicles of Change, we sit down with Nasir Qadree who shares about how, together, we can empower entrepreneurs, leaving a footprint behind by running 51 marathons, and how life coming alongside first-generation college students is not what is given to you, but what you make out of it. Today, Nasir serves as the Associate Director of Social Investments, where he focuses on education and employment technology investments and philanthropy that empowers students, supports worker success and career readiness.
HOW is this Vehicle of Change taking solutions to scale?
At ATT Nasir is working to empower the next generation of change agent’s, where he and his team are charged in finding, developing, and investing in the best education technology and diverse founders that are building innovative solutions impacting the learning revolution, and increasing student achievement. Nasir believes having a strong start up ecosystem is the fabric of how we revitalize our most impacted communities, the idea that everyone can help. That’s why Nasir and AT&T support start-ups that are directly coming alongside social entrepreneurs solving challenges in education, and building a more equitable competitive economy.
You heard the HOW and here is the WHY?
- 73% of US investments in the first half of 2017 were made in 3 states - California, New York, and Massachusetts. The remaining 47 states are competing for 27% of investment capital.
- 10% of venture dollars globally between 2010 and 2015 went to startups with at least one female founder.
- African American-owned companies make up only 1% of firms that received VC funding.
To often, when we are seeking to solve our biggest problems, we operate in silos and choose a bottom down rather than bottom up approach. How does AT&T bridge this gap and reaches the glass ceiling? At AT&T Nasir believes in having an multi asset driven mindset, in other words work with the understandings that we are better off partnering than working in silos. This is one of the many reasons why AT&T Aspire is so effective in providing solutions to scale.
In her work in international development for the World Bank Group, Claudia tackles each development project by identifying the development need in underserved countries and how to systemically take each solution and customize it to the country’s need. Many times, this involves engaging social entrepreneurs and re-thinking how we can engage global grassroot movements of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. After interviewing Nasir, her biggest take away is AT&T’s unique approach in connecting people, our planet and understanding the limitless possibilities. Education and empowerment, in particular in developing countries, whose population lives under the extreme poverty line of $1.90 a day, is mainly about creating opportunities through entrepreneurial businesses and STEM. To her this is the key to create a more prosperous planet and achieve the United Nations Sustainability 2030 Agenda. Ultimately, in international development and entrepreneurship, it is important we join forces and work together for a global goal to create a more prosperous planet by 2030.
As an entrepreneur, Danielle particularly appreciates individuals who experience a problem personally, and then work to build the solution for everyone (not just themselves.) That is the true entrepreneurial mindset: seeing problems as opportunities in disguise.
Nasir experienced what it was like to face the challenges working directly with first-generation college students, strategizing how best to navigate those challenges. He realized that he had the opportunity to make a difference by personally raising $1 million dollars for first generation college students across the country. He’s committed to running 51 marathons in all 50 states (including DC). Today he has completed 17 full marathons.
He took what he had, which was his ability to run, started building solutions, and advocating for this underscore community students. He didn’t overthink it, he just got started. That is the spirit that creates change!
“Running is deeply rooted personally, an affectious symbolism that reminds him with a support system anything is possible”, says Nasir.
To all our viewers, take a moment to think about what goal you are “running” after? How can you take what you’ve learned from this interview and scale it up to make it fit in your community? Take tangible steps out of this 15 minute pow-wow interview and learn from Nasir's and AT&T’s work, to decide why you are in the driver’s seat of change and how you can take solutions to scale. Ultimately, it is up to you to ensure that you and the generation that is becoming behind you is well prepared to create a better tomorrow.
Thank you Nasir for your interview and being behind the wheel of change.