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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.

Members of the Cadre team spent the day with entrepreneurs from Start Small, Think Big.

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.

Cadre CEO Ryan Williams and General Catalyst’s Peter Boyce II moderated a panel discussion about entrepreneurship.

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 businesse​s. 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.

About the Author
Ryan is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cadre. Prior to founding Cadre in 2014, he worked at The Blackstone Group in its real estate private equity division. At The Blackstone Group, Ryan was involved in over $3 billion in transactions across multiple asset types. Prior to Blackstone, Ryan worked at Goldman Sachs in its technology, media, and telecom group, where he worked on transactions totaling more than $5 billion. Ryan founded and launched an institutional real estate single family homes fund in 2009, acquiring, renovating, and selling single family homes throughout the United States while acquiring more than 1,500 multi-family units. Prior to that, he founded a sports technology company. Ryan holds an A.B. from Harvard College.
Educational Communication: The views expressed above are presented only for educational and informational purposes and are subject to change in the future. No specific securities or services are being promoted or offered herein. Performance Not Guaranteed: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns, or probability projections are not guaranteed and may not reflect actual future performance. Risk of Loss: All securities involve a high degree of risk and may result in partial or total loss of your investment. Cadre makes no representations, express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of this information, and the reader accepts all risks in relying on the above information for any purpose whatsoever. These materials are not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for investment, accounting, legal or tax advice. Additionally, these materials are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or other instruments. Actual transactions described herein are for illustrative purposes only, are presented as of underwriting and are not indicative of actual performance, and were selected based on objective, non-performance factors such as asset-type, geography or transaction date, among others. Certain information presented or relied upon in this presentation has been obtained from third party sources believed to be reliable, however, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the information presented.

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