We’re so often “inspired” by the latest social enterprise start-up, flashy idea, and rising stars, but I’m inspired by my friend and StartingBloc Fellow Jessica. Yesterday, I received a touching letter from Jessica letting me know that she is closing her non-profit of four years, Cheti. I’ve known about Jessica’s recent struggles with running Cheti and her incredibly difficult decision to close and let go of something she is so deeply passionate about.
Even more courageous than starting a venture like Cheti, it’s a brave and egoless decision to move on when it’s no longer having the intended impact or sustainability. And it’s thoughtful and important to share the difficult decision, successes, and failures, as Jessica has done with Cheti, and as others have for the Celebrating Failure series in SocialStory.
Being an entrepreneur is difficult. Failure is painful. Letting go is brave.
Jessica allowed me to share her beautiful note about saying goodbye to Cheti below:
Dear Friends, Sponsors, and our Cheti Family,
We write to you today with some difficult news. We have decided to close our Cheti organization.
The decision to close Cheti is based upon our recognition of ongoing communication and management challenges from afar, and evaluation of our team’s current constraints. As with many organizations dedicated to international development efforts, lessons are learned often too late and because of this – we hope our transparency and openness enables others to learn from our endeavors. You can read more about these here.
This is not to say that our learnings override our successes. We are extremely proud and honored that you enabled us to achieve some great things in Tanzania, including our final project: helping Jue School fund a new school bus. The stars are shining brighter over Arusha because of you and we are confident that the foundation of support provided to the children and the schools is the beginning of a better future for all. We are also confident that many of the facilities we built and supplies we provided will continue to serve year after year, as more and more children attend these schools for the betterment of their future. Our work will live on.
And while we have made a significant impact, (see accomplishments here), we believe the biggest success was proving to ourselves what we are capable of accomplishing. Not only what we are capable of, but what you are capable of – what each and every one of us is capable of with a little determination, support, and love.
The human mind and soul are amazing things, and when ignited can achieve more than ever thought possible. While this is the end to quite an incredible chapter in our books, our passion and drive have not settled, and we encourage each of you to take this as a chance to start a new chapter in your own life.
Create something you’re proud of. Work collaboratively to accomplish greatness. Help those that are less fortunate because the world is a beautiful place because of those that do. While you do “good,” concentrate on empowering others to good for themselves. Most importantly: believe in yourself and your ability to inspire others.
Thank you for your unrelenting support in our team, our organization, and our mission for these last four years. We are forever grateful.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
The Cheti Team