Creating a Shared Vision of Equitable Entrepreneurship

November 4, 2022 | By

Nutishia Lee

This story is adapted from the Forward Cities monthly e-newsletter. Subscribe for the latest news and updates from cities across the country.


October 2022

Building Together

Forward Cities had the great pleasure of sponsoring and supporting the annual InBIA Ecosystem Builders (e.Builders) Forum, where entrepreneurship ecosystem leaders from all over met in Research Triangle Park, NC to enhance their professional skills and build new peer relationships.

Over the course of two days, we heard from ecosystem leaders across the country who shared tools, resources, and lessons learned in a collaborative effort to amplify ecosystem building best practices. With sessions covering everything from funding and investing to storytelling to state-level initiatives encouraging entrepreneurship, there was an abundance of rich content and conversation. Here’s what a few of our panel leaders had to say about the experience:

Fay Horwitt"It was fantastic to see the Triangle's premiere incubators, accelerators, and support organizations highlighted on a national stage. Following on the heels of the Startup Champions Network spring summit earlier this year, this region is emerging as the nation's go-to location if you want to learn about entrepreneurial ecosystem building. Forward Cities is grateful and excited to be a part of the groundswell!" - Fay Horwitt, Forward Cities President & CEO

Brett Brenton"The InBIA Forum highlighted a number of entrepreneurial champions from all across the Triangle, exposing our region to attendees from across the country.  I had the pleasure of leading a panel on dynamic workspaces, from the inclusively minded Provident1898 to innovative Frontier campus.  It was great to share what makes our region special with this highly engaged audience." - Brett Brenton, Forward Cities Senior Director of Learning

Engagement Updates

Black Wall
Street Forward

In October, Ecosystem Builders In Residence across the state hosted their first BWSF Stewardship Council meetings. At these meetings, council members discussed the first two pillars of the BWSF narrative change initiative: collaborative Black leadership and innovation and a culturally-rooted geographic business hub.

Read more about BWSF
E3 Durham

The E3 Durham Community Navigator Pilot Project has reached the amazing milestone of having supported over 100 entrepreneurs! Take an in-depth look at the program in our Meet the E3 Durham Team interview series and be sure to join us for the next Pull-Up at Provident (PU@P) event on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 5pm.

Register for PU@P

Equitable Ecosystem Building:
Speaking Your Truth with Fay Horwitt

Recently, Forward Cities President & CEO, Fay Horwitt, joined Anika Horn on the Ecosystems for Change podcast to share some of her hardest-won lessons in managing conflict in ecosystems and building trust every time Forward Cities shows up in a new community. Fay dives into: 
  • How fear – of not getting funding, recognition, being heard – can drive conflicts in ecosystems
  • How addressing fears with honest communication bursts the conflict bubble
  • Why emails are the worst way to communicate about a conflict, and what to do instead
  • How bringing in a third party facilitator can actually help build trust and social capital between local organizations
  • Why stakeholders need to acknowledge and address the power dynamics at play as soon as possible
Listen to the Episode

Staff Picks

Industry News, Reports, Best Practices

NC IDEA Ecosystem Summit 2022
NC IDEA will host its annual Ecosystem Summit on November 14-15, 2022 in Winston-Salem, NC during Global Entrepreneurship Week. This year’s Summit, themed “To Be Rather Than to Seem”, will prominently feature our ECOSYSTEM partners and their work to equitably strengthen our economy.

The Ecosystem Summit is the only statewide conference of its kind that uniquely brings together diverse leaders in the North Carolina entrepreneurial ecosystem and economic development professionals to address what is needed to support all entrepreneurs and create a shared vision of making North Carolina the best place to start and grow a business.
Other Picks
“Challenging power structures from the inside, working the cracks within the system, however, requires learning to speak multiple languages of power convincingly.”

 – Patricia Hill Collins


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