S01E02 – How to Build Up Community Capital to Nurture Your Ecosystem with Debbie Irwin

In today’s episode, we’re headed to Staunton, VA, to talk with Debbie Irwin about how she became an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder. 

With her background in digital marketing and a deep-seated passion for rural communities, Debbie became Executive Director of Shenandoah Community Capital Fund in 2019. As you’ll learn in this episode, the term “community capital” is about a lot more than investing money.

In our conversation, we talked about how important it is to fully see people when building an ecosystem. We talked about how to be a convener in an ecosystem without becoming a bottleneck and who took Debbie under their wings when she first started out as an ecosystem builder. 

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • How we can amplify community capital and how we build on-ramps for other supporters, without being the ecosystem leader
  • Why collaboration and coalition building among organizations requires a mindset shift out of scarcity thinking
  • Why it’s important to build WITH, not FOR our communities
  • Why Debbie and SCCF undertook listening tours around the region and how they implemented them to make communities feel seen and heard
  • Who you need in your corner to weather tough times

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