In need of a little inspiration? Give the Humanship Podcast a listen! Through interviews, stories, and goofiness, the Humanship Podcast explores what it means to be human in spaces that often aren’t very human. The series has 20 episodes so far, and more are on the way! Please enjoy these visual highlights from Episode 10: Community-Bred Innovation, a thought-provoking (and smile-provoking) interview with Impact Hub MSP founder, Katie Kalkman.
Impact Hub MSP is excited to announce a new partnership with Social Venture Circle (SVC). SVC is a membership network that equips entrepreneurs, impact investors and capacity-builders with connections, money and expertise in order to build businesses that drive the NEXT economy: one that is regenerative, equitable and prosperous for all.
SVC uses their industry expertise to help build the impact investing marketplace to bring resources to the most innovative businesses scaling solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. Over the past 25 years, they have invested $260m in over 350 social companies.
Impact Hub knows that change cannot happen in isolation, and with such similar goals we are thrilled to deepen our relationship with SVC to support the social impact community. We kicked off our collaboration by supporting SVC’s first-ever virtual Native American Impact Showcase which included a Native finance session led by Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, eight pitches, and a happy hour Circle Gathering. The event featured pitches and conversations from Native American impact founders and enterprises working to create productive, impactful businesses across diverse sectors in Indian Country. Meet the entrepreneurs:
- Wizipan Little Elk & Aaron Epps, Wolakota Buffalo Range (SD)
- Shilo + Shawna Clifford, Native Botanicals (SD)
- Tahda Ahtone, Jackrabbit Development (AZ)
- Amanda June, SmokeFire Media (AZ)
- Kurt Brenkus, Indigenous Pact (WI)
- Denise Pieratos, Harvest Nation (MN)
- Walt Swan, HeSapa Enterprises (SD)
- Robert Blake, Solar Bear (MN)
The goal of this event was to foster an increasingly inclusive investment environment by connecting and deepening understanding between entrepreneurs and investors interested in supporting the Native Community. As a result, 545k in funding will be distributed, with hopefully more on the way!
With seven chapters across the country, SVC is planning to officially launch a Twin Cities local network in 2021. By becoming a member, you will leverage four decades of expertise and leadership to achieve your goals through programs, events and peer networking. Learn more and become a member!
Thank you SVC, for your partnership!
Wes is the co-founder and CEO of EOS International, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides rural families in Central America access to low-cost high-impact solutions which allows families to climb out of poverty.
Over 85% of Central Americans do not have access to safe drinking water as their water sources are contaminated with bacteria, causing harmful health issues in the population, particularly children. With a comprehensive approach, EOS provides cost-effective safe drinking water solutions at the community level.
Since the creation of EOS in 2008, EOS has directly impacted over 540,000 Central Americans.
After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University, Wes worked as an Agriculture Specialist with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, Central America, where he also co-founded EOS. Prior to stepping up as CEO of EOS, Wes initiated a West African manufacturing facility which fabricated agricultural processing equipment in Senegal, managed manufacturing partnerships in China, and lead a human-centered design innovation lab in Malawi using several public and private partners.
He is a Global Shaper Alumni (an initiative of the World Economic Forum), currently serves on several nonprofit boards as well as sitting on the Advisory Council of the United States Global Leadership Coalition.
See the full list of Nonprofit Founders to Watch in 2020
The circumstance of the unexpected has a way of highlighting where our passions as individuals reside.
Tamara Torres was working as a naturopathic doctor in Phoenix, Arizona when life circumstances changed and prompted a move to Minnesota. Her license as a doctor of integrative medicine didn’t allow her to practice in Minnesota making it unfeasible to start her own practice quickly enough to pay the bills. But she still knew that she wanted to help people improve their habits in order to have more satisfying lives.
Keeping this dream in sight, she began working for a corporate wellness company as a wellness coach. But for Tamara, wellness coaching is more than simply a career. She’s discovered a measure of life in her work that goes beyond providing clients with a laundry list of how to change their habits to improve their quality of life. At the end of the day, the heart of her practice is in motivating people and creating a space where clients can grow in confidence and learn to trust themselves.
Herself being an entrepreneur, Tamara knows firsthand the challenges of balancing work and life. She grew up in a home environment that was focused on health, both health of the mind and of the body. Having grasped the immense value of health, she seeks to bring this awareness and value to as many people as she can.
She also personally knows what it means to live through times of great challenge and knows the importance of accountability in helping restore and maintain balance. Her move to Minnesota was preceded by a divorce, which also resulted in her bringing her 3-year-old daughter with her. The challenge of being a single parent and finding the balance between work and time with her daughter made the importance of holistic health even more apparent.
How we spend our days is how we spend our lives and if we can have a little forethought then we don’t have to wake up one day and wonder where the time went.Tamara Torres
Tamara was attending a Twin Cities Startup Week event in October, 2019 when she first heard about Impact Hub. She had been looking for a place to partner with in putting on a workshop called Productivity with Heart, which aimed to help individuals clarify their values and make them actionable.
This is also at the core of Impact Hub’s mission. Aligning values with one’s work isn’t merely a fringe value, but is essential in sustaining health. A community where this is taken as a foundational practice is one where growth happens freely and in community.
She says that there’s significant value in being aware and intentional of how we spend our time because “how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” Creating a space for people to exercise some forethought is where fulfillment takes root. Her hope is to help people live their days in a way that matters, that is true to themselves.
Living this way involves unknowns, unexpected circumstances and challenges that may otherwise not be known but it holds the promise of life.
Tamra’s website, Optima Results Coaching: https://optimaresultscoaching.com/
Owning a mission-based retail shop and becoming an artist were not things that Kellie expected, but when the opportunity to buy a local gift shop arose she couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Kellie Lager owns Greater Goods, a small retail shop in the Eat Street Neighborhood of Minneapolis that sells gifts and cards. The mission of the business is to support new artists, the community and causes that are making an impact. Over the years, Greater Goods has donated a portion of their yearly profits to organizations such as; MCAD Youth Art Programs, St. Stephan’s Human Services and Safe Hands Rescue. Impact Hub MSP is honored to be the donation recipient for 2019!
As a new social entrepreneur and professional artist herself, one of Kellie’s favorite parts of owning her business is supporting new artists on their business journey. She teaches them about what it means to sell wholesale and how to set pricing.
“I love that Greater Goods provides an avenue for new artists to get into brick and mortar. It may be easier to sell online, but when artists can get their stuff in a store where people can touch, feel and see the work, that helps you stand out.”
Much like buying the shop, becoming an artist seemed to just happen to Kellie. She began making art because she missed working with her hands and with power tools. (Part of her career was spent as a field technician, working outside in the woods using chainsaws.) Her medium of choice is wood because it has a different life than other mediums.
“Part of my love of using wood in my art is because it was living at some point. Like people, each piece has different character. Even if I make the same piece more than once, it will always be a little bit different.”
Kellie’s artwork is inspired by nature and women. Most wood art you find can be very geometric, but Kellie likes to find softness in her pieces. She loves the dichotomy between using power tools and the poetic, soft subjects they create.
“Some people are surprised to learn that I am the artist. When they see me at a show in a dress and lipstick, they don’t think I would be working with wood and power tools. it challenges their expectations a little. That’s the reaction I want.”
Innovative problem solving has as its core a simple idea: the possibility that one problem may contain within it the solution to another problem. Intersections are the most lively places to be, full of possibility, potential, danger, and vitality. How easy it is to fall into the mindset of trying to solve problems with the very means that created the problem in the first place. Bob Blake is in the work of finding these intersection points.
Bob is the creator and owner of Solar Bear, a solar installation company who’s addressing a variety of big-picture issues through the lens of an environmental justice mindset. His current project on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota is aiming to create a tribal-owned renewable energy company. The idea is that this could be a major driver for economic opportunities for the region and act as a model for the development of other such initiatives in other areas.
This project goes beyond simply providing electrical power to the native community. Himself a member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians, Bob sees the ability to create and own electrical power as a means of providing another kind of power: independence. This independence is a necessity when it comes to the flourishing of the human spirit.
He speaks of this as not simply work, but as an opportunity for a moral reclamation for the Native American people.
“I thought to myself, we were here first and so we have a responsibility to take care [of the land]. If no one else is going to do it, then we have to do it and we should definitely lead on this and lead by example… I’m saying to Native people, ‘We can’t take back this land physically… but we can take back this land morally.’”
Looking ahead, Bob sees the troubling future that climate change will bring about. At the core of his work is the idea that if our environment is unhealthy, we as people are unhealthy. But the inverse is also true: making our environment healthier makes us healthier. Everything is interconnected.
This brings us back to the unlikely intersections that color Bob’s work. Solar Bear is also working with prison inmates, giving them the skills to install solar panels. “Why not put them to work? Instead of paying $50,000 for them to sit in a cell, let’s pay them $50,000 to work… Let’s take one dollar and turn it into seven!” he says with enthusiasm.”
People need purpose. Our best hope as a society for reducing recidivism rates is to give inmates purpose. Solar Bear is also engaged in education initiatives including a forthcoming program in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota. And so it is that Bob created Solar Bear. Yes it’s a solar company but it’s so much more. Addressing issues relating to the environment, community empowerment, tribal culture, education, workforce development, and mass incarceration to name a few, his work of finding unlikely intersections continues and is continually expanding.
Solar Bear website: https://solarbear.earth/
When the Great Recession struck, Ned Zimmerman-Bence was working as the executive director of an online high school. He soon began receiving calls from an unexpected demographic that wanted to enroll, people in their 30’s and 40’s, just to receive the last few credits they needed in order to acquire their high school diploma.
Ned had worked in education for nearly his entire career, but it was at this time that he first really noticed the issue of adult literacy. Many of those seeking their last few credits simply didn’t have the skills to read well. The systemic problem made itself clear: the resources being offered to students weren’t fitting the need.
The seed had been planted and Ned decided to nurture it. It’s now growing faster than ever and has taken the form of GogyUp, a venture Ned has started along with three other co-founders. GogyUp is addressing the problem of adult illiteracy. A common theme of Ned’s career has been the marriage of technology and learning and his current work is no exception. GogyUp helps people with limited English skills understand the materials they need for everyday living and working.
It works by taking text, say a manual, and overlaying an instructional framework, which breaks down the language components, thus aiding in understanding the text.
To get to this point was not an easy task. Ned and his team spent two years researching the mechanics of the English language. The core question was “How can we sequentially teach how sounds are represented in letter and [vice versa] how do letters represent sounds?” They worked with 8 linguistics majors to develop that sequencing and then they trained computer algorithms to identify language patters.
Their approach is unique. It’s not just a venture focused on innovative technologies but rather is human-centered. Before any coding was started, the team met face-to-face with a variety of people who could benefit from their service and gathered perspectives about what would be helpful for them.
Rather than create a solution for a perceived problem, Ned wanted to better understand the problem from the people who were subject to it. If the idea was to help people better engage with the world around them, understanding it from their perspective was key.
Ned believes that education has the power to truly change the trajectory of one’s life. He’s seen it in action. It’s from this belief that his work flows.
After being asked what life lessons he’s learned through his work, Ned noted the importance of fully believing in your concept while at the same time being open to change. “Let go of your preconceived notions of what you can do or what you can’t do… Be mindful of the Savior Mentality.”
The growing process is the learning process is the changing process. Being open to new opportunities and challenging ideas is where the foundational work happens.
GogyUp website: https://www.gogyup.com/
“When you show up to interview to manage people’s life savings and your resume says you fix cars, they kinda laugh at you and say, ‘you’re not gonna work for me.’”
But he kept coming back. It took him 4 years to transition from auto-body work to financial planning.
Dan Murphy sees the power that money has, the potential it holds to make an impact on the world. And so he puts his efforts where his heart is.
He began working in the financial planning industry 12 years ago, the past 6 of which have been through his own business, Greater Good Financial. About starting his own business, Dan says, “I made a decision to have my business follow my personality and my heart.”
He saw a different way to do business. With much of the industry being money-centered, he saw a need for business that was more client-centered. So he developed a new business structure centered around creating impact and charitable giving.
“I made a decision to have my business follow my personality and my heart.”
The first idea was to charge people less for his services. Allowing people more freedom in how they invest their money creates the space for them to make a greater impact in the ways they see fit.
Secondly, rather than simply investing his client’s money to produce the maximum amount of return, he wanted to use socially responsible and impact investments. He now partners with a variety of nonprofits in order to invest the money into efforts that go toward making positive impacts. He calls this potential the “Impact Snowball.” On this front, he seeks to be highly transparent. Involving his clients in the journey of investment is key. He wants his clients to be excited about how their money is creating change. So at the end of each quarter, he sends them an impact update, which includes the photos and stories of the investment recipients so clients can see exactly what their money has gone towards.
The final piece of Greater Good Financial’s business model is a 20% tithe. 20% of his revenues become charitable donations.
Dan is particularly unique in the financial planning industry not only because of his business model but also because of the fact that he doesn’t have a degree in the field. It was a passion he came to later in life and because of this, he had no initial network through which to grow his business. No alumni association for example.
Impact Hub has become a vital network for him.
“Even if you don’t feel special or if you don’t fit the mold of whichever industry you’re in, you can really lean into it and find a way to look at things in a totally different way and take your uniqueness and make it into a strength.”
For Dan, the community at Impact Hub has been an important factor in this learning process. This space harbors and fosters a spirit of innovation and impact.
So much of the work that Dan does has to do with allowing people to be their full selves. Giving back is an imperative piece of this. He says, “The more money I’ve given, the less I’ve had to worry about paying the bills or making ends meet.” It may seem paradoxical, but it’s a business model that’s working. A visit to his website, greatergoodfinancial.com, makes this clear. A quotation from Anne Frank on the home page reads, “No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Listen to the audio below for a story from Dan about allowing one of his clients to be their full self.
This month, Impact Hub is highlighting partnerships and the value that they bring to an organization. In celebration of that, we recently talked to Jessica Moes and Namuun Purevdorj, both members of the Global Shapers, another one of our partners. Note that during the interview, these Shapers at times refer to their community organization as a “hub,” as well as to Impact Hub as “the Hub.” It’s just one of the many things our organizations have in common! Read on to learn more.
Speaking about impact and social change, could you share an example of one of the projects you have been working on?
Sure. So the main goal is all about self organizing youth and each community to voice solutions for the challenges in their local, regional, or even global, communities. Jessica mentioned how hubs cooperate to solve certain issues. For example, we have meetings in collaboration with other hubs, for example with the Milwaukee region. We have annual regional conferences where we come together in one of the city hubs to further collaborate and share our ideas and challenges. This year’s regional conference for North America and the Carribeans was in Atlanta. So there are definitely ways that we can come together on a local, regional, as well as a global level. There are several projects that our hub has done over the past five years, but the most recent project that was a highlight for me was the Shaping Fashion initiative by one of our members, Ashleyn.
Ashleyn also happens to have another partnership with Impact Hub.
Yes. So the Shaping Fashion initiative was all about waste and how that affects the environment. Her project was not just local or regional; it was actually global: many other members and other hubs joined together to have a whole week dedicated to sustainable fashion, where people came in and were able to look at ways that they could participate. I thought that was pretty cool.
Of course, there are other ways we engage, as well. For example, financial literacy is a big topic that I’ve seen in different hubs, whether through education, workshops, websites, or just getting youth plugged in. Specifically, when we’re talking about financial literacy or projects related to finance, it’s about being able to bring about equity in the community, so that everyone is able to have the opportunity to learn. In fact, equity is a very common theme for all of us: making sure that we are breaking the cycle of intergenerational inequity in our communities.
That’s an important theme. In thinking of that, and about Global Shapers in general, how would you say that its mission aligns with the mission of Impact Hub?
I’ll tackle that. We’ve had a partnership with Impact Hub for at least three to four years, well before Namuun and I were even a part of this group. So I would say first and foremost, we’ve informed each other over time. The way that I’ve known Global Shapers has been deeply informed by Impact Hub’s mission. And I think vice versa. There’s this philosophy within Impact Hub, that innovation comes from collaboration, by pulling together people who might not normally intersect with one another on a day to day basis in their work, and putting them into a collaborative space together in order to bounce ideas off of one another. This helps make ideas become bigger and to stick more within communities in the ways that we really truly want. This also offers outside perspectives you might not normally think to consult, because it’s bringing in the voices that you might not normally have access to. And so in many ways, I think Global Shapers mirrors that by trying to host very similar discussions, even around ideas that certain members of our hub – but not necessarily everybody – are super interested in. But then you bring these ideas to the table and you say this is really important to me, I’m working on a project related to this idea, Person X might speak up and say, “Hey, this isn’t necessarily something I normally get involved with, but have you thought about this aspect, or this aspect, or how you’re going to interact with this community with regard to this particular topic?” So by being in a space with other people that might not normally interact, and being in on those conversations, is useful for skyrocketing those projects.
That’s a great point. As you said, Impact Hub similarly fosters rich interaction with organizations and people in a way that can be creative and helpful. Namuun, what’s your perspective?
I would add that the resources that we have from Impact Hub – not just the space, but other resources like the Skills à la Carte sessions, for example, are very useful. And, again, diversity is important. So being plugged in, not just within the Shapers, but also with other people at Impact Hub is a bonus. With the age limit, some Impact Hub members may not be able to join our Shapers hub. However, we can still create relationships that help set us up with really great advisors and collaborators, and vice versa.
When we talk about partnerships, I’d like to highlight that Impact Hub focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals, and as a hub that is part of a global network informed by the World Economic Forum, we’re also deeply guided by those Sustainable Development Goals. A specific project that we’re working on right now in alignment with Impact Hub is a series on the Sustainable Development Goals. Each month, we bring in local leaders working on a Sustainable Development Goal for a roundtable discussion about how that work is being done here in Minneapolis – St. Paul. We’ve now aligned those meeting rhythms with Impact Hub’s regular rhythm of approaching the Sustainable Development Goals. So that’s another cool project that we’re now working on in collaboration.
One more important point in which we strengthen each other might be in our branding. We are very fortunate to have the Impact Hub name alongside our name on certain events, not only in our SDG series. Together, we amplify our reach.
Do you have any recommendations to other organizations when they’re looking at partnering together on projects or as institutions?
The number one thing is making sure that we align on values. We have to ask ourselves why we are collaborating, why we are using the space, who we are catering to, and what the end goals are. Making sure that those questions are asked and answered up front, that they are aligned, is key.
Recognizing that all the players at the table have equal skin in the game, and there should be a degree of equal benefit from the relationship, is also important. Each organization needs to make it a win-win situation, so that everybody is getting something out of the partnership and nobody feels exploited. Transparency throughout the whole process, and building the partnership with that hope and mindset that there’s a very intentional, desired outcomes for both parties, makes for a success. There also needs to always be a focus on true partnership.
Part of the “social” in social impact is working with other organizations in the community to strengthen each other’s work. At Impact Hub Minneapolis-St. Paul, we value all of our partnerships — past, present, and future. One of these valuable partnerships is with Social Enterprise Alliance Twin Cities, so we sat down with Ashleyn Przedwiecki, their community manager, to talk a bit about it. Read on to learn more.
“A partnership is always about making sure that you are lifting up the organization that you’re working with an equal or greater capacity to what you’re hoping to get out of it.”
~Ashleyn Przedwiecki of Social Enterprise Alliance
Would you mind starting out by telling us about Social Enterprise Alliance?
Absolutely. Social Enterprise Alliance Twin Cities is a chapter of a national organization, with 18 other chapters all around the US. We have our national headquarters in Nashville, and every chapter has the ability to serve its community in its own unique way. But as a whole, the Alliance is there to empower, support and equip social enterprises to succeed in any number of ways, whether that’s through knowledge services, workshops, open office hours, mentorship, training, or any number of things depending on their impact area.
Specifically, our chapter is focused on the idea of building a movement around social enterprise, making these businesses more visible and making social enterprise a household name so that more people understand what it is and the value that it brings to our community. Additionally, we are encouraging all leaders to see themselves as social entrepreneurs and drivers of social change, and to use business as a tool for good. We do that in a number of ways: hosting workshops and conversation opportunities for people to get together to talk about relevant topics, grand challenges, struggles, and push the movement for all businesses to have a social or environmental impact built right into their business model. We believe that a purpose-driven economy is the way of the future, one that is driven by purpose over profits. It’s important for businesses to be paving the way to that new economy.
Could you tell us about your role at Social Enterprise Alliance?
My role is the community manager. I wear many hats, from communications and marketing to producing events and creating spaces for like-minded people to connect. I help support members, host impact hours, and try to connect entrepreneurs to the resources that they need in the community. It’s always a wonderful opportunity to be at the center of what’s going on in the social enterprise world here in the Twin Cities.
Am I correct in saying that you also have your own social enterprise?
That’s somewhat true. In addition to SEA TC, I am running my own business in sustainable event design and production. I run a for profit business, and I incorporate social and environmental impact into the work that I do. The core of my core stems from making a positive impact on the world. I would definitely consider that aspect to fit right into the work of the Alliance. However, I am not currently set up as a legal Public Benefit Corporation or certified B Corp yet. Legally declaring my impact with a status such as PBC or B Corp is a tangible way that I can showcase my commitment to social impact. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s something to work towards and I encourage all small business owners to consider in the future! I also integrate my sustainability practices into all of the work that the Social Enterprise Alliance TC does on the ground.
That alignment is important. Continuing on that thought, how do you think the missions and goals of Social Enterprise Alliance and Impact Hub align?
I think the overall vision of both of these organizations are right in line; in fact, they are ultimately working on creating a purpose-driven economy that works for everyone. We both focus on empowering and connecting people who believe in something bigger than themselves and are working to integrate that into the core of everything that they do, including their businesses. We are also both globally connected. Social enterprise is something that is much more commonplace in areas like the United Kingdom and Australia. Often many businesses and organizations around the world are running social enterprises without realizing that they are.
I think having a place and a community of people that understand that you’re not only running a business, but that you’re running it for a greater purpose, is something that both of our organizations try to create space for and connect like-minded people globally. There’s a strong alliance of goals around equipping people to elevate an equitable economy that works for everyone, around promoting innovation, and in trying to think of how to do business in a way that’s never been done before. Both organizations bring like-minded people together and are trying to always pushing innovating to cocreate a new future.
Could you talk a bit about the partnership between the Social Enterprise Alliance and Impact Hub?
Absolutely. We support one another’s workshops and programs and we have specific agenda items that we’re working on together. For example, Impact Hub was a wonderful supporter of our impact showcase event last May, which highlighted social entrepreneurs and enterprises and celebrated their impact throughout the community.
We also often come together to partner around big community events, such as Twin Cities Startup Week, which happens in October every year. For the last few years, both of our organizations have pulled together resources and ideas to try to equally support the space and introduce social enterprise and impact ideas to the greater community. So, we often partner on different events around that specific time, as well as supporting the community through mentorship programs and highlighting members of our ecosystem. We also share our experts or mentors with Impact Hub as well as direct entrepreneurs to the community space at Impact Hub because we don’t have a physical space of our own. While we are sort of online and ethereal movers, Impact Hub provides that grounded space and place. We often find ourselves here, supporting and connecting entrepreneurs to national and global contacts, and use the Impact Hub space as that gathering place to find those like minded people.
If you were mentoring an organization who is looking to partner with another organization, what advice might you share with them?
I think it would depend on what the organization was looking for, and the circumstance. Coming to Social Enterprise Alliance or Impact Hub first is a great step because we see a lot of what’s going on in the space. And there are many mentors and people who have been around for a really long time that can make the right connections for you. As an entrepreneur, sometimes the most challenging part is reaching out for help and asking for what you need, when you don’t know what you need. Finding people who have been working in the ecosystem for a long time can be a little daunting and challenging, but there are a lot of experts right here at Impact Hub, as well as through the Social Enterprise Alliance.
To find what’s going to be the right partnership for you at the right time, it does depend on what you need, so I recommend connecting with someone first, just to get to know what they’re doing and how you can support them. Then, develop that relationship with the key leaders of the organization before diving into a partnership. It’s always great to just feel out the relationship and decide whether or not you can mutually benefit one another, because a partnership is always about making sure that you are lifting up the organization that you’re working with an equal or greater capacity to what you’re hoping to get out of it. It’s always best to just ask them; never make assumptions about what an organization wants or needs; just be sure you come together to the table to decide what could benefit the community and the people that you’re serving. Talk about whether the right partnership and space in which to elevate each organization’s goals more quickly.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention to our community?
One other thing that I wanted to mention is a partnership we have with Forge North that adds value to our community. It’s still in development, but it’s really close to being released. Together, we’ve been working on a resource and tool directory for startups, entrepreneurs, and small business leaders called Startup Space. It’s a digital hub of organizations, community leaders, and people that are serving entrepreneurs all around our community, designed to be a one-stop shop for any entrepreneur or individual who is stuck looking for a partnership or looking for that next phase. The digital hub aims to help them find the resources they need more quickly and see the landscape of what is available to them, because often just searching online doesn’t yield the results that you need. Impact Hub is one of the resources that’s listed for sure, among many others. The Forge North community has come together to say we need to build a platform and be that support system so entrepreneurs can thrive more quickly. That’s been something that’s been very exciting to work on, and I can’t wait for that to come out, likely during Twin Cities Startup Week. I’m really excited about what’s next for our region. With the millennial generation constantly asking businesses to be more transparent, ethical, and sustainable in their methods and models, it’s the right time to be a socially minded business.