As the year draws to a close, I wanted to share my reflections on 2016 as well as the important work that lies ahead. The opportunity is particularly meaningful as the last 12 months have been my first as Next Street’s CEO.
First and foremost, I’m incredibly grateful to have such a distinctive network of clients, partners, team members, and colleagues. It is both humbling and inspiring to work with some of the most respected, forward thinking, and impactful organizations and individuals in the country. As a Next Street team, we are a group of like-minded professionals that are passionate about creating jobs and opportunity in communities that need them the most. We couldn’t do this work without your support, collaboration, and partnership. Thank you.
I often describe Next Street as “an eleven year old start-up.” What does this mean? It means that our ambition for growth and impact carries the same sense of urgency as when we first opened our doors. It means renewed commitment to our founding mission to transform the way advice and capital are provided in under-served markets. It means our values of integrity, transparency, excellence, and equal access continue to shape the way we work each day.
Three pillars of activity drove our work in 2016 and remain our priority in the New Year:
- Enterprise Advisory: Helping to find and grow impact businesses, nonprofit organizations, and social enterprises
- Capital Access: Accelerating the flow of capital into impact enterprises, projects, and communities
- Economic Development: Pursuing inclusive economic innovation at the “ecosystem level” with forward thinking institutional partners and investors that are ready to lead
In 2016, Next Street engaged more than 2,500 businesses and nonprofit organizations through one on one advisory, cohort based programs, and brick and mortar services; we pioneered new approaches to city and region wide business attraction, retention, and development with leading government and quasi-public institutions; we engaged numerous current and potential impact investors through foundation and investor clients; we helped launch several new impact enterprises from concept to reality; and we worked with large anchor institutions to innovate solutions that will catalyze inclusive and equitable development. We also opened a growing Chicago office to better serve our clients in the Midwest and made internal changes to sharpen our focus on quality, excellence, and continuous improvement.
The team and I enter 2017 with a deep sense of purpose, focus, and urgency. I am energized by the opportunities next year holds and eager to explore how we can advance this impactful, important work together. Thank you again for your support.
Very truly yours,
Co-Founder & CEO