In less than two hours, we:
- finalized a revised mission/ purpose statement - Economic Empowerment WI is a Collective Impact effort of Collaborators woking to decrease barriers to entrepreneurship for people of color by developing a continuum of support services throughout the lifecycle of an entrepreneurial enterprise.
- re-shaped and organized working committees for Connecting Resource Organizations; Outreach, Intake and Mentorship for Entrepreneurs; Wrap-around Services; and Advocacy.
- set clear expectations for participation on the Executive Committee and even established a Nominating Committee to make sure we have a potent mix of great minds.
As we were imagining how the above diagram would actually be put into action, Justice Castaneda offered a research perspective, "What about bigger issues that we're connecting to? How are we really changing the game?" His exposed a missing link in the collaboration: Advocacy.
It's great for us to be focused on connecting organizations like Downtown Madison Inc and Commonwealth Development. But how might we use the growing experiential knowledge to influence precursors to the issues we hope to solve? The answer is by collecting clear data to be used as a basis for advocacy.
Wouldn't it be great if we could say with authority and "knowing" that "these underlying factors not typically considered economic development issues" are actually a major root cause and we need to fix it?
One of those things we're seeing more and more clearly is transportation gaps and their correlation to impoverished communities. EEWI hopes to build strong collaboration to fill the holes in our strategic efforts.
Our collaboration is shaping up to be the something that is literally filling the gaps for entrepreneurs of color; and we couldn't have done it without, you.
Our next steps are for each committee to work with Opportunity Inc. to lay the proper foundations for recruiting larger participation in the committee. They'll be meeting on their own to lay that ground work and coming together to start getting busy! Meanwhile, the Nominations Committee will be getting together to do some careful recruiting of Executive Committee Members.
Our community support is building, and we’re moving along quickly on the path to providing entrepreneurs of color the fighting chance they deserve to grow economically. We need you to help us make it happen. Please stay engaged with EEWI by signing up for our email list in the bottom right corner of this page and following us on Facebook and Twitter to stay involved.