It’s All About Community
I was “zoomed” in last week to talk to a group of women at Start-Up Lab in SF. I really enjoy speaking with women who are trying to navigate their businesses. The highs, the lows, the frustrations, the need for capital, the pitfalls and everything in between. My hope is that I can provide some insight into the process. More than anything, it is comforting and almost a relief to know that others have experienced what they are experiencing. I could almost hear the sigh of relief when they heard about issues that others have experienced.
The constant theme that every woman talked about is the connections they made at the accelerator. Once again, it is all about community. Whether their businesses succeed or not, these women will have made connections with others that are in the same boat and that is the power behind the community.
I read about Thread this past week. Thread is an organization in Baltimore that engages underperforming high school students in underserved areas and connects them with each other as well as volunteers to help these students turn their academics around. They are providing support through a community. That is why they are having success. Nobody feels alone.
It is the same for Pathforward, an organization that I co-chair. We are helping mostly women return to the workforce after being out of for years. Why has this worked where others have not? It is because of the community. Women go through the program together with the same goal of landing a professional job (tech, marketing, sales, etc) in the companies that we work with from Apple to PayPal to Walmart. Once they land that job, they have the women that went through the program with them as their support system. That is the key.
WeFestival, although a day of content and conversation, at the end of the day it was all about community. We built a community where women met like-minded entrepreneurs who maintained those relationships after the event was over.
I keep thinking about the talk I did last week. Now more than ever, a community is the most important tool to create a long-lasting impact.