Encore: Helping African American Entrepreneurs Take Flight
February 13, 2018
Hosted by Thomas Rosenberg and Rani Langer Croager
At their earliest stage, entrepreneurs generally get funding from friends and family – those supporters culled from alumni groups, professional connections, and longstanding familial and social networks. For most entrepreneurs, this abundant and friendly pool of capital is a financial lifeline that can be the difference between a great idea and a promising startup or small business. That is, unless you’re African American. The problem, as pointed out by Runway Project founder Jessica Norwood, is that wealth in the U.S. cleanly falls along racial lines. Runway Project is a national initiative designed to change that reality for African American entrepreneurs. In this week’s show, guests Konda Mason and Annie McShiras will discuss the collaboration between Runway Project, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, and Uptima Business Bootcamp in Oakland, CA, to pilot a new financial product and investment fund that bridges the funding and support gap for African American entrepreneurs.
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The purpose of this show is to accelerate the shift towards building an inclusive, just future by connecting people and ideas. Be inspired to become the change agent for your community. Our guests describe some of what’s happening across the country and around the world to improve community resilience and build a regenerative community.
Our topics range from money and what it is, the challenges and success of global resilient community efforts, models for bringing alternative health care to underserved and minority communities, suggestions for fostering greater community through social entrepreneurship, building leadership, to reflecting on the language we use and whether it is inclusive or exclusive.
Thomas Rosenberg and Rani Langer Croager
I am passionate about changing mindsets and behavior. Since 1994 my career has been focused on change leadership around environmental initiatives, facilitating change, and empowering others to lead change from within their organizations and communities. I have worked with private and public sector organizations in the US, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Client organizations include Fortune Global 750 companies, local and national governments, and small and mid-sized firms.
I serve on the Advisory Board for SxSW Eco’s Startup Central. Previously, I served on the National Sustainability Committee for the Clean Tech Open, driving the creation of a new curriculum for participants. I also served on the Bay Area Biomimicry Leadership Team and as an Advisory Board Member for Shukuru.org.
I hold an MBA in Global Management from Thunderbird, an MS in Environmental Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, a BA in International Relations and Asian Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and I am currently pursuing certification as an Integral Coach through New Ventures West in San Francisco, California.