11 episodes

The official podcast of Forward Cities, where we share stories and lessons from the people of equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem building.

Forging Forward Forward Cities

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

The official podcast of Forward Cities, where we share stories and lessons from the people of equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem building.

    ESHIP Communities Bonus Episode Part II

    ESHIP Communities Bonus Episode Part II

    Welcome to this ESHIP Communities bonus episode of Forging Forward, the official podcast for Forward Cities. Funded by the Kauffman Foundation, ESHIP Communities exists to explore pathways to build inclusive, sustainable entrepreneur-centric economies; providing people with connections, tools, and support they need to be successful.

    Forward Cities has four ESHIP Communities across the country including - ESHIP Rio Grande in New Mexico; ESHIP Long Beach in- CA, ESHIP Kansas City in KS and MO; and ESHIP Baltimore in MD. We’ll continue to listen in on conversations centered around specific areas of focus for each community in this second portion of this two-part series.

    In today’s episode, we’ll continue our journey by heading to ESHIP Baltimore to discuss the narrative of Black business and the distorted perspectives that can sometimes follow. Listen in as Shervonne Cherry, Director of Community and Partnerships for downtown Baltimore co-working space Spark Baltimore and Terence Dixon (also known as Chef T) of Terra Cafe and Tera Loft Consulting, dig deep into the culture and support for Black business in the Baltimore area. In addition to their daily roles, both Shervonne and Terence are members of the ESHIP Baltimore Stewardship Council. Special recognition goes to Cohado, Inc as contributing editor and recording management.

    As we round up our tour of the four cities, we recognize that there’s much work to be done but we’re proud of how much progress our communities are making. ESHIP Kansas City is a great example of a community coming together during tough times. ESHIP KC council member(and Executive Director of Central Avenue Betterment Association), Edgar Galicia sits down with Founder & Owner of Thunderlight Work Boots, Virginia Mercado. The two discuss Mercado’s entrepreneurial journey and how she’s overcome obstacles presented by the COVID pandemic.

    Thank you for coming back for this second episode of our two-part ESHIP edition of the Forging Forward podcast. If you haven’t had a chance, be sure to check out our Holiday Giving Guide highlighting local businesses in each ESHIP Community; the guide can be found at forwardcities dot org  under ‘Ecosystems.’ As we wrap up 2020, be mindful of the impact you’re making on your local community and what you can do to contribute to building an inclusive, sustainable entrepreneur-centric economy. Until then, keep forging forward.

    • 23 min
    ESHIP Communities Bonus Episode Part 1

    ESHIP Communities Bonus Episode Part 1

    Welcome to the ESHIP Communities bonus episode of Forging Forward, the official podcast for Forward Cities. Funded by the Kauffman Foundation, ESHIP Communities exists to explore pathways to build inclusive, sustainable entrepreneur-centric economies; providing people with ideas, the connections, tools, and support needed to be successful.

    Forward Cities has four ESHIP communities across the country including - ESHIP Rio Grande in  New Mexico,  ESHIP Long Beach in- CA, ESHIP Kansas City in KS and MO; and ESHIP Baltimore in MD. In this two-part series, we’ll listen in on conversations centered around specific areas of focus for each community.

    In Episode Part 1, we start off with ESHIP Rio Grande in New Mexico where food security is a top priority and concern. ESHIP Rio Grande’s work is focused across a geographic area that includes Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Española. Listen as Lucy Foma, Santa Fe County Senior Planner, and Christina Rogers, Executive Director of Barelas Community Coalition, discuss food-systems planning, local support, and the COVID-19 impact. In the second half of our episode, ESHIP Long Beach Local Director Laura Merryfield speaks with Centro CHA staff, Jessica Quintana and Josephina Cruz-Molina. Centro CHA is the Long Beach Community Hispanic Association whose mission is to increase the source of quality programs and services that are dedicated to improving the social and economic development of low-income youth and families in Long Beach.

    We hope you’re inspired to learn more about ESHIP Communities, ESHIP Rio Grande, and ESHIP Long Beach!

    • 45 min
    E3 Network in Pittsburgh, PA

    E3 Network in Pittsburgh, PA

    How can cities gather diverse cross-sector stakeholders to inform the process of entrepreneurial ecosystem building?

    Community Entrepreneur Accelerator (CEA) Communities are focused on entrepreneurial support, placing an equity lens on entrepreneurial ecosystem building to ensure more access to resources was available to those with fundamentally sound business ideas.

    Three leaders who are active in Pittsburgh's entrepreneurial ecosystem share insight into the work that has been done and what lies ahead.


    E3 Network Champion and Executive Director of the Riverside Center for Innovation Jaun Garrett  
    Forward Cities Resource Navigator and owner of The Minority Networking Exchange and CKV Suites (Coworking & Event Space) Vernard Alexander
    New Forward Cities Resource Navigator and CEO of Cocoapreneur and Co-Founder of Greenwood Week Khamil Scantling 

    To learn more about CEA Communities visit forwardcities.org.

    • 48 min
    Culturally-Affirming Neighborhood Coworking Space with Business Incubator

    Culturally-Affirming Neighborhood Coworking Space with Business Incubator

    How can a welcoming and community-based coworking space transform the experience of historically marginalized entrepreneurs?

    Forward Cities Local DIrector for Indianapolis, IN Kaliah Ligon walks us through the pivotal moment a vacated retail business was repurposed as an Entrepreneur Hub and community wealth building. Multi-business Founder Ravan Carter of Styl-ish, Bag-ish, and co-owner Self-ish View shares how having a central location to operate and learn has positioned her and her businesses for growth. The Kheprw Institute (pronounced K-hep-pra), served as a consultant to test the demand for a culturally affirming coworking space and develop workshop criteria for participants.  Eastside Collaborative Consultant Malieka Robinson worked to process site selection with Forward Cities and Kheprw Institute.

    Learn more about Forward Cities' Community Entrepreneur Accelerators.

    • 26 min
    Side Hustle to CEO

    Side Hustle to CEO

    What are the barriers faced by under-connected entrepreneurs in our communities? 

    Forward Cities Local DIrector for Franklin County/Columbus, OH LC Johnson walks us through the development and implementation of the Side Hustle to CEO mentorship program designed to support part-time entrepreneurs to shift to full-time entrepreneurship. Founder Markeisha Johnson of Bombombs shares how transformational the experience has been for both her business and community.  Aventi Enterprise, a local Black woman-owned business consultancy, served as the primary executor of the program and Case Manager for program participants.

    Learn more about Forward Cities' Community Entrepreneur Accelerators.

    • 33 min
    Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building and Measurable Processes

    Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building and Measurable Processes

    How can we identify what entrepreneurs need to survive and thrive in cities like Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Franklin County / Columbus?

    Forward Cities Director of Research and Evaluation Stacey Williams provides a high-level overview of the Community Entrepreneur Accelerator (CEA) program and Minimal Viable Solution process to build more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems.

    To learn more about our work visit forwardcities.org.

    • 16 min

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It takes a System

Success for entrepreneurs takes many things: first, the ideas, drive and skills of those entrepreneurs, but beyond that there often needs to be a community or an ecosystem that offers support, sometimes in intangible ways. The Forging Forward podcast looks at the folks behind the scenes - "Ecosystem Builders" - that work to cultivate and develop environments that will help more entrepreneurs' journeys end in success.
Talking with Ecosystem Builders about why they do their work and how as well as the challenges they face is inspiring. This podcast gets into the street level detail of that and encourages listeners to think about how their communities support entrepreneurs in a different way.

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