Veronica Kirin named to inaugural class of Forbes Next 1000

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Veronica Kirin Courtesy Veronica Kirin

An entrepreneur and anthropologist from Grand Rapids was included on Forbes’ first list of 1,000 innovators and small business owners “who are redefining what it means to build and run a business amid unprecedented uncertainty.”

Veronica Kirin, CEO of Veronica Kirin Inc. — which she started in Grand Rapids and is continuing after her move to Berlin in January — was included in the inaugural class of Forbes’ Next 1000 that was published last week.

“I am deeply honored to be named one of the first 250 honorees of the 2021 Forbes Next 1000 entrepreneurs,” Kirin said. “I work every day to leave a positive echo through my work with fellow entrepreneurs to scale their impact and income (and) to empower and enhance their entrepreneurial journey. I firmly believe that with more business leaders comes greater equality and equity around the world. Business creates freedom and gives one the power to enact positive change.”

Announced in 2020, the Next 1000 initiative is part of Forbes’ goal to champion “ambitious sole proprietors, self-funded shops and pre-revenue startups” that bring in under $10 million in revenue or funding and reflect the diversity of America.

“Many of these businesses have continued to thrive during the pandemic — proof that American entrepreneurship remains resilient and vibrant,” Forbes wrote in the feature.

“Small businesses accounted for two-thirds of net new American jobs before the pandemic. Unlike venture-backed startups, which largely skew male and often overlook underrepresented groups, the entrepreneurial heroes featured on the Next 1000 reflect individuals from diverse communities who are redefining the American Dream,” said Maneet Ahuja, senior editor for Forbes.

The Next 1000 list will spotlight a total of 1,000 entrepreneurs, announced every quarter in installments of 250 standouts. Judges from every sector and Forbes editors will evaluate semifinalists. A variety of factors will be considered, including revenue, total funding, ownership stake in business, business model and impact, as well as personal story. Kirin was in the first group of 250 honorees.

Kirin is an anthropologist, author and serial entrepreneur who works with business leaders to scale their impact and income. She published the award-winning book “Stories of Elders” and created Stories of COVID, which documents the pandemic in real-time.

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