Modernizing the Labor Movement: “The Entrepreneurial Union”
Amy Wilkinson, senior fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Business and Government and public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, has been researching and writing about entrepreneurial leadership. In a recent piece for the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled “The Entrepreneurial Union,” Wilkinson unveiled an interesting development in our entrepreneurial economy.
In the article, Wilkinson refers to the Freelancers Union, a nonprofit that provides health insurance, retirement plans, community events, and political representation for the self-employed, which currently comprise 26 percent of U.S. workers. “The Freelancers Union is not just another labor organization. Instead, it updates classic trade unionism with the modern impulses of social entrepreneurship, supporting itself largely with fees for services. At the same time, the Freelancers Union reveals its trade union spirit by working through political channels to secure better conditions for independent workers,” wrote the author.
The idea of a social safety net for entrepreneurs came from Sarah Horowitz who, while a graduate student at Harvard, came to belief that existing labor laws and regulations did not fit the freelance economy. “The Entrepreneurial Union” presents this innovative entrepreneur’s story and organization.
We look forward to Wilkinson’s upcoming book on entrepreneurial leadership that focuses on how globalization, technology, and a shift in public service models create new paradigms for rising leaders.