Spiffy here! I’m back with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Andrea Perdomo, Director of the Economic Inequality Initiative at Uncharted. Let’s see what she is doing to make a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: I’m excited to talk with you today, Andrea. Let’s dive in. What challenge are you addressing at Uncharted?
Andrea: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Uncharted supports early-stage solutions addressing economic inequality in the United States. A six-month initiative this spring is to support eight very early-stage social entrepreneurs, movement builders, and nonprofit innovators with $25k in unrestricted funding, access to subject-matter experts, mental health resources, introductions to potential funders in our network, and other personalized support.
Spiffy: Wow! What motivated you to do it?
Andrea: My experience as an entrepreneur and lived experiences as a latina have fostered a passion for creating systemic change that re-distributes power and wealth equitably. The entrepreneurs working every day for their dream motivate me.
Spiffy: That brings me perfectly to the next question. Could you expand on how you and Uncharted are working towards a more equitable world?
Andrea: The economic divide in the US is sharp and rising. In the decade since the Great Recession, middle-and-lower classes saw their collective wealth shrink by over 20%, disproportionately affecting women, people of color, and young people. Meanwhile, the country’s most affluent families grew their median net worth by over 13%, making America the most financially unequal nation in the Western world. At Uncharted, we’re elevating solutions that create transformational opportunities for people to increase wealth in the near term while building towards a long-term vision to address the root causes themselves.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent Uncharted initiative. What impact does that make?
Andrea: In September of 2021, Uncharted launched the first cohort of the Economic Inequality Initiative - an accelerator. After receiving over 340 applications, we selected 10 organizations (17 participants) to go through the program, and the impact this program has had on the entrepreneurs is mind blowing. Uncharted aims to democratize access to capital, clarity, and community—the power of those important pieces of entrepreneurship to be unlocked is huge progress and big wins for our entrepreneurs. We are seeing that already!
Spiffy: That’s amazing! Can you tell me about a startup or project you’ve worked with that exemplifies the impact you’re striving to make?
Andrea: Living Wage for US (Sleepy Hollow, NY). Over 40% of workers in the US earn less than $15 per hour, making it impossible for many to afford their basic needs like healthy food and shelter. Living Wage for US advocates for living wages through narrative change, and enables employers to overcome barriers by creating incentives to pay living wages that afford a decent quality of life for working families. During our program they have hired an additional team member, raised hundreds of thousands, and publicly launched!
Spiffy: I wish you and Uncharted all the best going forward. Thanks for speaking with me today, Andrea—it’s been an honor!
As Director of the Economic Inequality Initiative at Uncharted, Andrea Perdomo supports early-stage solutions addressing economic inequality in the United States and the entrepreneurs leading those ventures. Andrea is an entrepreneur who previously worked at Techstars leading diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In 2013, Andrea co-founded Revolar, a 2015 & 2016 Techstars Accelerator company leveraging technology for good to keep our loved ones safe. (Nominated by Blanca Catalina Garcia at BCG Innovation. First published on the Ladderworks website on January 21, 2022)© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.