Six years ago, I moved back to Connecticut from New York City because I believed in a vision, where my home state could have a stronger future through business that does good but is also profitable. In reSET, I saw the potential to tackle national socio-economic challenges in my own backyard. I’m incredibly proud to say that we accomplished so much towards making that vision a reality.
Together, we coalesced an ecosystem of 120 stakeholders working across diverse industries, government, and the education and investment realms. We spearheaded the adoption of Benefit Corporation legislation to ensure Connecticut is at the forefront of “the future of business.” We built a nationally recognized accelerator program that’s served over 700 entrepreneurs and graduated more than 100 companies. We launched one of the country’s only social enterprise internship programs, among many other resources for startups.
On a more personal level, I’ve been fortunate to help lead strategic and policy decisions around entrepreneurship in the state. Through such work, I’ve established deep, long-lasting relationships with too many bright and talented entrepreneurs, mentors, and partners to name.
It’s been an invigorating, challenging, humbling, and exciting experience all at the same time.
Reflecting on this makes it hard for me to announce that I‘ll be transitioning into the next phase of my career. I‘m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been able to pursue. The entrepreneurs that reSET serves, its larger tribe, and the team members with whom I’ve worked over the years have all had a profound impact on me. However, knowing that reSET will be in such capable and experienced hands with Sarah helps makes this time easier for me.
While I haven’t decided where I’ll land next, I’m exploring opportunities to build on everything I’ve learned and accomplished through reSET in entrepreneurship, innovation, economic development and public/private partnerships. I remain dedicated to making Hartford and Connecticut stronger for all of us, and hope you’ll stay in touch (Ojala.Naeem@gmail.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/ojalanaeem)!