Collaborating to Prosper

They say two heads are better than one; but what do you call a room full of great minds determined to change Madison's economic climate for people of color? Simply supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Based on popular testimony, Tuesday's Dec 6th Collaborator Presentation was a complete SUCCESS! We had a full house of folks in the Economic Development world, including WWBIC, City of Madison Economic Division, Madison Development Corp, Urban Assets Consulting, American Family, Organizations from the MarketReady initiative, Members of City Council and Dane County UW well as entrepreneurs, Chris Cantly from Chedda, a data analytics start-up and Deborah Biddle from High Performance Development Solutions.

The topic of discussion was a collaborative approach to economic development for entrepreneurs of color that coupled needs-based resource development as well as low-barrier grants, loans and investments.

With great minds comes great discussion; and our was centered around fundamental questions and innovative options.

Together, we processed the need for collaboration in a field of "different similarities." We talked about the need for mentors and how funding could go to support more than just business expenses, like the personal hurtles that disproportionately challenge entrepreneurs of color. This could be child care, negative accounts, rent, and others. There was a consistent theme of the need to connect entrepreneurs of color to mentors and to resources.

Daniel Rolfs from Madison's Economic Development Division reported back from a group discussion that envisioned employment as training and preparation for entrepreneurial success. Another group brought out the strategy of the provision of resources as business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the process. Genius!

Paramount to the discussion was how we could leverage current efforts and integrate a process that took a needs based approach to connecting the dots and distributing funds - focusing on the needs, getting to those that need it, and using social capital to make this thing for REAL.

I'm both proud and thankful for our group and look forward to even more collaborators serious about doing something real that lasts. We hope you're join us. Send us an email and let us know you want in on something turning out to be big and beautiful.

Download the the full presentation here

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