At their best, government and impact-oriented entrepreneurs share the aim to advance equity, expand opportunity, and make democracy work for people. Innovation in the private sector can—and should—help aid, implement, and improve public policy and delivery of services. Entrepreneurs have unique capabilities to quickly adapt, tailor, and innovate to user needs faster than policymakers and government programs. This allows them to rethink better ways to distribute services, break down barriers to aid, and help enact systems change. And, when government falls short, to provide alternatives.
We believe that transformative change can happen at the intersection of government and the private sector. Our new theme Policy and Progress explores these ideas further and today we’re launching a handful of stories, including:
Entrepreneur Erica Mackey writing about her experiences trying to improve childcare in America and what happens when a market solution can’t fix a broken system.
A Q&A with Jamila Michener, co-director of the Cornell Center for Health Equity, about how to make public benefits more dignified.
A piece from Leapfund founder Karen Schoellkopf discussing how to try and change the narrative around public benefits.
Acumen Asks with Derek Douglas, the president of the Civic Committee and Commercial Club of Chicago and former special assistant to Barack Obama.
At Acumen America, we think a lot about how to support innovation that tackles the systems of poverty that impact low-income Americans. In the last year, one of the areas where we feel there is a huge opportunity to do that and influence some real systems change is Medicaid. We’ve heard a desire from both policymakers and entrepreneurs to partner to work on our country’s biggest health equity challenges—but we also saw the challenges start-ups faced when trying to launch and scale in Medicaid. That’s why we launched the Medicaid Innovation Collaborative, which brings together state governments, Medicaid health plans, entrepreneurial innovators, and Medicaid beneficiaries themselves to work together so that high-impact innovations can better scale in Medicaid.
In the coming months, we’ll share more about the Medicaid Innovation Collaborative and we’ll continue to examine ways we can improve the relationship between the public sector and private companies trying to help. If you’re working on a solution or involved in helping your community better interact with public systems—we’d love to hear from you.
Catherine & Amon