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HomeEntrepreneurHow EO members are serving to Ukrainians battle again with donated drones...

How EO members are serving to Ukrainians battle again with donated drones — —

Joe Freedman, an Entrepreneurs’ Group (EO) member in Nashville is the founder and CEO of Occasion Works Leases. Joe noticed a necessity for entrepreneurs to assist the Ukrainian individuals battle their battle and tapped his entrepreneurial expertise and sources to take action. Right here’s what he shared concerning the expertise:

Throughout a current journey to Ukraine to ship donated drones, I visited Auschwitz throughout the border in Poland. On a wall on this place the place so many harmless individuals had been killed is a plaque: “Those that can’t keep in mind the previous are condemned to repeat it.”

As a Jew, this warning is particularly current to me, which is why I’ve a deep and lifelong disdain for bullies. When Russia invaded Ukraine, I noticed one other potential slaughter of innocents. Historical past repeating itself. I’ll by no means perceive why so many individuals ignore atrocities—then or now.

However what can I do? I don’t have army, medical, or different expertise to assist the Ukrainians. I’ve no political strings to tug. I’m simply a mean man, a businessperson, annoyed and deeply affected by watching one other tyrant slake his thirst with harmless blood.

Then I noticed there was one thing I might do. I’m a member of EO Nashville, the most important US chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Group—which has chapters all around the world. So, I emailed every of the 23 entrepreneurs in EO Russia and the 48 members in EO Poland. The Russian entrepreneurs wished to assist their mates and relations in Ukraine. A number of Polish EO members are engaged in supporting and offering help to Ukrainians. I had discovered good individuals who wished to assist, in order that was a begin. I started speaking with my community about how somebody in Nashville might assist victims of a battle on one other continent.

After which a drone firm on which I sit on the board of administrators, Purple Cat Holdings, began getting emails from Ukrainian drone pilots helping within the battle effort–civilians, not skilled troopers. They had been asking for American-made drones to assist arrange refugee protected zone exits, detect and detonate land mines, survey broken buildings for rescue operations, and different humanitarian efforts.

I knew it was time to behave. I rounded up a dozen sturdy and agile racing drones and boarded a airplane with fellow EO Nashville member, Steve Curnutte. Along with a drone knowledgeable, we flew to Warsaw, drove to the border, crossed into Ukraine, and hand-delivered the drones to skilled drone pilots at their hidden headquarters the place the drones are geared up for numerous duties—some humanitarian, some army. Both manner, they’re saving harmless lives.

That supply was the primary installment in what I hope shall be a gentle stream of drones to Ukraine by a non-profit group, Drones for Good Worldwide. We’re elevating cash to purchase and ship drones to the 400+ drone pilots in Ukraine to make use of in humanitarian methods–serving to to avoid wasting lives and hold individuals protected.

Whereas in Ukraine, I additionally met with and vetted the on-the-ground non-profit group, Support Legion, which can assist with the logistics of getting the drones to the fitting individuals. Additionally, my new mates from EO Poland, who themselves have been elevating funds and offering aid to tens of hundreds of refugees fleeing Ukraine, helped me scout warehouse area close to the border to retailer the drones earlier than delivering them.

It was Passover once I boarded the airplane to ship drones to Ukraine, a celebration of one other time when oppressed individuals efficiently freed themselves from tyranny, although many perished within the course of. And whereas thousands and thousands perished from the horrors of World Conflict II—each on the battlefield and in demise camp fuel chambers—in the end, good prevailed over evil. It’s my want, and perception, that the identical will occur in Ukraine, hopefully before later. 

Listed here are my entrepreneurial take-aways from this enterprise about how you can use your community and expertise to attempt to remedy issues exterior of these encountered in working a enterprise:

  1. A world community is a superpower that may assist you to remedy nearly any downside. Connecting with entrepreneurs in Poland gave me the sturdy benefit of getting individuals on the bottom, in a spot I’d by no means been, whom I knew I might belief–actually with my life. I used to be in a position to belief that they had been who they mentioned they had been—one thing not all the time attainable in a battle zone—and belief that that they had the enterprise sense and native information to deliver success to each the journey and the next non-profit we arrange.
  2. I confirmed what all entrepreneurs know: The market and the entrepreneurial power that drives us are very efficient at shortly figuring out points and doing one thing about them. The Ukraine Conflict is exclusive in being the primary worldwide battle by which non-public enterprise, with out urging or organizing by the federal government, is immediately reaching out to assist. The early use of drones on this battle is a main instance. This enterprise started when non-military skilled drone pilots in Ukraine began utilizing their very own drones to assist Ukrainians. Their employers obtained concerned, after which it went worldwide—a completely voluntary enterprise effort—to not battle the battle, definitely, however to offer the humanitarian help individuals want particularly throughout wartime.

My effort in Ukraine with the drone firm on whose board I sit is one amongst a whole bunch, maybe hundreds, of others being carried out by fast-acting entrepreneurs and different caring individuals, identical to you. Possibly abnormal individuals can cease historical past from repeating itself.

For extra insights and inspiration from as we speak’s main entrepreneurs, take a look at EO on Inc. and extra articles from the EO weblog



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