Moving the Money: Connecting Investors and Underestimated Entrepreneurs

Uncategorized Feb 27, 2020

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‘Level Up’ 


On today’s episode we speak with Elaine Rasmussen, Founder and CEO  of Social Impact Strategies Group, and Stephannie Lewis, their Director of Strategic Partnerships.  Social Impact Strategies Group (SISG) a Black/Native-led certified B-corp social enterprise. SISG provides facilitation and consultation on racial equity and social impact audits, education workshops for investors & underestimated entrepreneurs, and produces the annual ConnectUP! MN Summit which promotes and grows inclusive and equitable entrepreneur ecosystems that drive positive, sustainable social impact grounded in economic justice.  

Listen to this lively conversation filled with thoughtful insights and innovative ideas about how to co-design an ecosystem that prioritizes equitable access to resources, capital & networks.  In our conversation, we dive into:

  • Why investors and support systems need to shift to invest in and work with underestimated entrepreneurs (those who are women, people of color and LGBT) also known as the Missing MIddle Entrepreneurs (MME).
  • How authentic relationship building and cross-pollinating networks of investors and businesses are critical to building a better entrepreneurial ecosystem. 
  • The State of the Work Report 2019 published by SISG that proposes a framework and recommendations to addresses these disparities and equity gaps in the Minnesota entrepreneur ecosystem.
  • SISG’s annual ConnectUP! MN conference that supports state-wide black and brown women and underestimated entrepreneurs by bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and supporting entities within the ecosystem.  And how this unique 2-day culturally grounded gathering can be replicated in other cities and states.
  • The story of Elaine’s experience in impact investing and how it inspired her to launch SISG and create a space and support for entrepreneurs who have made it to ‘first base’ but need guidance to move forward and scale to make it to ‘third base.’
  • Elaine and Stephannie’s advice for launching a business and partnering with others to grow it, including the importance of giving yourself grace, why women should raise their prices and embracing the motto “I Don’t Do Favors, I Do BUsiness”
  • How Elaine and Stephannie are working to make Minnesota the best place to have a business, not just start a business, for everyone.

In this episode we reference:

  • ConnectUP! MN Conference link here
  • Social Impact Strategies Group:
  • Elaine Rasmussen: [email protected]
  • Stephannie Lewis: [email protected]
  • Social Handles: @SISG_, @connectupmn, @connectup_, @YERasmus
  • Grab your “I Don’t Do Favors, I Do Business” t-shirts here!

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