Breaking Down Barriers to Entrepreneurial Success with Cadre Cares
As an entrepreneur, I realized early on that whether you’re selling embroidered headbands (as I once did) or launching a technology business, entrepreneurship requires continually confronting barriers. And surmounting those barriers is often difficult — particularly for under-resourced entrepreneurs. Access to information, skill-building opportunities, and a network of experienced mentors can make all the difference to budding business owners as they launch and scale.
Cadre Cares is our company-wide initiative focused on helping more individuals build better financial futures. Through this program, we aim to give back to our community by supporting the efforts of entrepreneurs in building the best possible businesses. As part of Cadre Cares, we recently partnered with Start Small, Think Big, a non-profit that helps resource-deprived entrepreneurs build businesses in underserved areas. To kick off the partnership, our team here at Cadre recently spent a day diving deep with entrepreneurs from Start Small, Think Big, providing the cohort with actionable insights on how to overcome start-up challenges and tap into the resources necessary to build their own businesses.
The entrepreneurs really ran the gamut — from a former fashion industry professional turned high-end chocolatier to a founder of a fitness website. Each cohort member had their own compelling purpose — a “why” that propelled their vision. Often, entrepreneurs are driven to solve a problem that impacts their lives. As we discussed with the Start Small, Think Big cohort, having a clear “why” is essential to building meaningful and lasting mentorship networks and fulfilling your vision.
We ended the day with an insightful discussion led by Peter Boyce II, one of our investors with General Catalyst; Liz Wessel, Co-Founder and CEO of Wayup; Sierra Tishgart, Co-Founder of Great Jones; and Lowell Putnam, CEO of Quovo. These leaders shared some of the entrepreneurial lessons that they learned on the way to success — from embracing failure as an opportunity to learn valuable lessons and recalibrate, to balancing the desire for quick growth with the need to get the business model right.
The inaugural Cadre Cares service day reinforced my belief in the power of entrepreneurship. And it also reminded me that one of the greatest assets for any entrepreneur is access to resources and a network of others who have built or are building meaningful businesses. I am surrounded by an outstanding team every day that focuses on Cadre’s “why” — to help more people improve their financial futures. When I spend time with entrepreneurs like those in the Start Small, Think Big program, I am reminded that giving people the tools to take control of their financial destinies can change the trajectory of an individual, a family, and ultimately a community. And that’s a future worth investing in.