Eli Friedman is one of the shining stars in the 4Front Baltimore Social Innovation Fellowship. In this program, fellows create and implement their own social enterprise to tackle problems in the community, working toward Tikkun Olam (repairing our community). Only a sophomore in high school, we were so impressed with Eli's work, that we wanted to feature him in our May content.
Read our Q+A with Eli below, and be sure to check out his feature in this month's issue of En Root: The Significance of Social Entrepreneurship.
This month's theme is all about entrepreneurship. Tell us your most significant hurdle you've overcome in your entrepreneurial journey.
When my team's first idea failed, we were forced to pivot and open our minds to new solutions.
At OutGrowth, we are committed to supporting the growth of future leaders and businesses. What do you think we as individuals and communities can do to support others to grow beyond traditional limits?
Invest in start-up companies, provide classes, and mentor young leaders.
Tell us about your most significant professional moment to date.
For my social innovation fellowship, my team had to present our idea in a compelling way to potential investors. This experience of researching the issue, identifying the solutions, and presenting data prepared me for future pitches.
How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?
I had never considered myself to be destined to be a social innovator, so this experience opened my eyes and gave me the confidence to become a social entrepreneur who helps others in need.
What is a step that each of us can take today to get involved in supporting individuals and businesses as a mentor?
Being available and willing to offer honest advice and guidance to those seeking assistance and support throughout their journey.
If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, when you first started a business, what would it be?
I would tell myself to persevere and be willing to pivot when things go wrong or have unexpected outcomes.
What is your favorite quote or song lyric?
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all love of what you are doing or learning to do." --Pele
Based on your entrepreneurial experience, what are the top three career competencies that you believe can be gained/developed as a result of taking a chance?
Thinking outside the box, flexibility, and being collaborative.
What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2021?
I aim to continue to explore new programs that will help prepare me in my quest to make substantial changes in the world.
Eli Friedman is a 4Front Baltimore Social Innovation Fellow and a sophomore at Pikesville High School. He attends Camp Modin during the summers and is a three-season athlete.