Smith talks about how focus is crucial for entrepreneurial leadership. It is impossible to do everything so the core beliefs of the venture provide the necessary direction. It is sometimes hard to turn down a project that will help the people you are trying to serve, but a good leader knows what he is able to take on and what he must leave for someone else, she explains. It is important to recognize that change in education is not as easy as moving a policy lever, and therefore entrepreneurs are critical for spurring the desired change.
Kim Smith lectures on Entrepreneurship for Stanford University students, October 19, 2003. Kim Smith is co-founder and CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, which she established in 1998 to transform public education by supporting education entrepreneurs. In NewSchools, Kim created a new "hybrid" approach to investing in social entrepreneurs. NewSchools uses grants, loans and equity investments to support a portfolio that includes nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurs who are building sustainable, scalable education ventures. In this Stanford lecture, she talks about venture philanthropy, fixing problems in K-12 education and how entrepreneurs must lead people from radically different sectors.