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

earn more about Debbie Irwin:

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