Since 2019, I have interviewed more than 80 Social Venturers to talk about how they're supporting (social) entrepreneurs in their community, what challenges they encounter, and how they move forward despite the obstacles they face. These are their stories.

Jackson Ward Collective

Feb 19, 2021

In December 2020, I sat down with Melody Short, Kelli Lemon and Rasheeda Creighton, the three co-founders of the Jackson Ward Collective.  Kelli Lemon is best described as Richmond’s Varsity Cheerleader. Kelli is the owner of Urban Hang Suite and host of Coffee with Strangers, a weekly conversation with locals about what makes Richmond Richmond.  …

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Carlie Dole

Feb 19, 2021

“What I found really difficult about a traditional mother’s group was that it was this hardcore focus on baby development. It became a bit of a competition, we forgot ourselves and focused solely on our babies. I knew there had to be another way! I wondered whether we could get together and connect on a …

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Mildred Franco

Feb 19, 2021

“When school started last August (2020), 70% of the kids in Pine Bluff opted for remote learning instead of in-person. By mid-October 68% had not even logged into the system.” Our community does not have adequate broadband, our city is what they called underserved. In the U.S. in the 21st century, inadequate broadband is leaving …

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Dell Gines

Feb 5, 2021

I first learned about Dell Gines when he took the stage at the 2019 ESHIP Summit. As part of this Firestarter talk, he walked us through the shift from economic development to entrepreneurship ecosystems and once he entered my orbit, he never really left: . I have gone back repeatedly to study his talk and listened …

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Dr. Angela Jackson

Feb 5, 2021

“I was raised by my grandparents. My grandfather worked at the Chrysler factory in Wisconsin and he was able to make a living wage. Because he was part of the union, I was able to go to undergrad and then on to get my doctoral degree. Today, that’s not true anymore for factory workers. If …

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David Ponraj

Jan 28, 2021

“Startup Space arose out of a need that I myself had as an entrepreneur. In short, it helps small businesses find local resources. The secret sauce in this is that we don’t have to create these resources because often there already is a lot of infrastructure in place to support these businesses. It’s the connectivity …

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Nic Gunkel

Jan 15, 2021

Nicolas Gunkel is the Senior Vice President at Forward Cities, a nonprofit that works with communities to strengthen their support structures for all their entrepreneurs. Nic has shaped the organization’s research and evaluation agenda, leads the nascent government/policy work stream and holds financial and accounting oversight in partnership with Fay Horwitt, the President and CEO. …

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Catherine Griffin

Jan 14, 2021

As founder and CEO of ImpactableX Analytics, Catherine helps social entrepreneurs and their investors to leverage data that can drive impact at scale. Her cutting-edge approach to impact modeling democratizes impact data and analytics by delivering a seamless and dynamic UX and generating analytics that uniquely engage investors, driving capital to the innovations with the …

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Matt Dunne

Jan 5, 2021

The state of rural America “Springfield, Vermont, was a community that grew based on innovation of its time. It had the highest per capita income in the state of Vermont for forty years based on Machine Tool, a machine tool specialist. It had the intellectual property to create the tools that would create manufacturing devices. …

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