Our team at Startup Southerner has only begun in our commitment to capture stories that reflect the whole entrepreneur ecosystem in the South. But one of the general themes that we’ve identified already is that there’s often no safe place or space to give honest feedback about one’s experiences as an entrepreneur, especially when it comes to talking about diversity and inclusion.
This year, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (the EC) has been actively taking steps to create a more inclusive space for all Nashville entrepreneurs. In January, the EC created the diversity & inclusion initiative, which included the launch of scholarships. In March, LeShane Greenhill, CEO of Sagents, was named as Nashville’s CODE2040 Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Now, their initiative is fully supported by UBS, allowing for an expanded scholarship program, a continued programming that engages the entire community, as well as formation of an advisory board.
“The topic of diversity and inclusion and the goal of making it a reality in all parts of our city, including the EC, is not a job for two people,” said Kelli Nowers, community director at the EC. “There are many different voices representing a variety of groups that make up Nashville, and we need to make sure those voices are represented.”
One such community event coming up is the ‘Entrepreneurs Roundtable’ on June 2. Sam Lingo, acting CEO of the EC, and LeShane Greenhill will lead “a brainstorming session about what minority entrepreneurs see as potential barriers to success in Nashville and ways the entrepreneurial ecosystem can work to potentially eliminate those barriers.” They hope that you “come with honest, productive feedback for the EC team, your own experiences as an entrepreneur and ideas for making our city more inclusive.”
The event is free, but there is registration. We plan to be at there, so we hope to see you soon!
What: Entrepreneurs Round Table
When: Thursday, June 2, 2016, 05:00 PM – 06:30 PM
Where: Nashville Entrepreneur Center