“To all the creators, innovators + game changers; as an entrepreneur – I recommend becoming an Activator first. You’ll immediately join the SheEO community, start building relationships + get the support you need to grow your Venture.” – Hannah Cree, SheEO Venture in Residence + Activator
In this episode
You ask a question and we answer it! Join us for this bite-sized series, each episode answers a ‘Behind The Scenes’ question in no more than 10 to 20 mins!
“ I don’t have $50K in revenue yet – how do I get support for my Venture?”
In this episode Vicki Saunders, founder of SheEO + Hannah Cree, SheEO Venture in Residence talk about early-stage entrepreneurs and how they can get involved in the SheEO community… And they go off on a couple of tangents about “action before words”, Racial Justice Working group and not following the playbook of the past.
Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the SheEO.World Podcast.
The podcast was transcribed by Otter.ai.
Hannah Cree 0:03
Welcome to the SheEO Behind the Scenes podcast. Today Vicki Saunders, founder of SheEO, and myself, Hannah Cree, SheEO Venture irn Residence respons to the question: I’m not making $50k in revenue yet, how does a woman identifying entrepreneur get support in our ecosystem… and we may have gone out on a couple of tangents, we talked about action before words, our racial justice working group, and not following the playbook of the past, let’s jump in.
Vicki Saunders 0:32
We were not out the door in two seconds with Black Lives Matter is giving you a reading list, we went and did the work, we did a race to dinner, which was unbelievably amazing. With our team, it was incredibly hard and deep work hard, deep work. And at like the beginning, the really we have the privilege of doing this work. So hello. And then we talked about it after, and then a whole bunch of our activators started to do that, too. And we’re doing a racial justice Working Group. But this like, Oh, we went black and change the box and wrote a, you know, a note, which we didn’t do, we didn’t do that,
Hannah Cree 1:04
which, you know, I had feedback of like, Oh, I was really surprised. It took shio a while to come up with something. And, and my response was, I was there. And it was every day on a call with another activator or another person or, and talking about it as a team struggling internally, because we have different races, different backgrounds, on our teams, and like, how do we talk about this? And what does this look like? And the first step was listening, right, listening to feedback and listening, listening. And, and you kept on saying to me, because I’m from the marketing, social media, because I was like, we got to say something, what’s gonna happen, and all of this, and it was like, you know, we need to do action first words later, like, we will talk about it after we have done the work. And so that is also one of the pieces where I was like, that’s what we need to share. Yeah, it wasn’t that we were, if anything, all, everything else we were doing was kind of put aside, this was what we needed to focus on in the moment, and then build something from that all because a venture called you will come he or she called me I was like, What the fuck are you gonna do?
Vicki Saunders 2:09
Yeah, what are you doing Sanders get on it? on it. Yeah. And you know, like, then I’m like, what are we gonna do? And we’d already been doing a lot of work with indigenous peoples amazing women entrepreneurs, and this was like, just more layers, right? So, I mean, I think one of the, this is one of the things that is also I get a lot of feedback on this.
But action before words, is also like, I can’t tell you how many press releases, I read about people setting up another fund, hey, by the way, we’re gonna do another fun, we’re gonna fund you know, 30 million, we’re gonna do a $30 million fund before they do anything. We never announce stuff until we’re done. We announce after we do things, which is so opposite land, and so I was catching up with some of our boards, and a couple of activators the other day, and I’m like, and this is coming and this and they’re like, Oh, my God, you have to talk about that. I’m like, they can talk about it, they can announce that they’re, we’re doing these things when it’s ready. But they’re like, no, but like, you know, the natural tendency is to like, put out a press release before it happens. You do all this? I’m like, No, we can talk about it after and show the results. It’s a very different way of being it’s like the non Pr Pr way, you know?
Hannah Cree 3:19
Yeah, I agree. So what do you I saw this question, actually a lot at 12th. And in that instance, we already kind of chatted about this. There’s a lot of entrepreneurs that I saw in the Toronto Women’s Entrepreneurship forum. They’re they’re not at the 50 k mark. And that’s what you need to be generating revenue. And, and we’re in COVID world. And I always feel like the first reaction of a lot of entrepreneurs that are even starting are like, Where are all the grants? And where’s all the money to help me start my business? And my response always is, your customers get a customer base. Go get your customers and and I feel really torn on this too, because I am also really fed up with the $500 million funding for another pizza delivery drone, with no customers and it’s typically a white male that gets funding without customers, whereas women really actually have to prove out their models and have all the customers before they ever even see any funding. Yep. But how do we get more women through this to this 50 k mark or even above that, to get them you know, through to get them more support?
Vicki Saunders 4:25
Yeah, well, it’s fascinating because when I like when we first started SheEO, the vibe was very much like older women. Like, you know, a little bit further on your career. Yeah, like legacy give back. I’m making your gift of 1100 dollars because you’ve made it to support those coming next, like that was kind of the vibe, just the people that showed up, and it’s completely flipped in the past five years. It’s now Oh, you don’t get half 50 K and Rev. This is literally the most amazing place to build your business. come in as an entrepreneur and activate is 92 bucks a month. If you don’t have 92 dollars a month to spend $3 a day to spend on your business. Hello, yeah, jump in there. And we have this whole group of women who want to be your customers want to discover new things want to help people have influence have connections, we’re super well resourced organization. And every single week, we show up and you get in a small group with four or five people on these breakouts and get to meet people, we have an app for ask gives, you can literally put your stuff out there, and we want to help. So I actually think it’s now the opposite, which is in there, especially if you’re under 50 K, build your relationships, get your business going, and then apply. And you know, people are ready. So you’re in relationships, you can like go nudge them to vote for you, and become an entrepreneur that way. And we’ve seen that happen, right? Over time, people become activators first, and then they get selected as a venture later. So it’s kind of fascinating, like how you watch, you put an idea out into the universe. And you watch how it evolves. And we’ve really evolved into this kind of like support network for people who want to help each other on their own terms.
Hannah Cree 6:01
Yeah, and I think there’s a really important indicator here, because so many people are like, what are the programs that are out there? What are the accelerators that are out there? What are you know, what are these grants and this and that when what you’re saying here is like, get into community, get into relationship, learn how to do the ass, learn how to give, like, this is the whole part of it, that you can get what you need. If it’s like your financial report, or manufacturing, you just have to do the ask and get into community to do that. There is no one way. And that’s how I feel about accelerators, which already built one and blah, blah, blah, we’ll get in that to the next one. But it’s like they always teach one way, this is the entrepreneur way, when we know that that’s not true for every business in every industry.
Vicki Saunders 6:44
Truly, I mean, if you follow someone else’s path, you’re unlikely to be great. You have to create your own path. And so part of the big thing here is, and I just resist using this language like this is an accelerator. Hmm, right? It’s an incubator, whatever. We just don’t have like a specific program, you step in and go, what do you need today? It’s here. But you have to ask for it. No one’s going to come and tap you at Well, actually, people do talk to young children go, Hannah, you should be asking for this, honey. No. And you go, No, thanks, lady. I don’t want that. Or whoever. And, you know, and that’s the other thing too, that we you find your own path, sometimes you’re not ready for the support that’s there. That’s okay. It’ll be there when you are ready for it. But this idea of walking into a space where you sort of have an on demand community of all kinds of different support. And you’ll you’ll you’re going to find someone who is an expert at go to market strategy, who actually fits your values, not just the person who’s great at go to market strategy, who you don’t like, right, like I’ve seen a lot of that incubators and accelerators are like, this is the advisor for bloody duh. And you’re like, I don’t like that person, though. And but yeah, that’s the person who knows everything. And so they’re going to tell you how to do it, based on how they did it. And this all of this comes in a circle for me all these pieces, which is if we follow the roadmap of the past, if we follow like the guidebook that whatever you want to look at the playbook of how things are done, we get more of the world we’re in. You all agree right now, we don’t want more of this world. It’s super problematic. Yeah, it’s not fair. It’s in equal. It’s unjust all over the place structural inequities everywhere you go. So why would you follow the playbook of the past? It makes no sense. We have to go create our own, which means then you have to trust yourself and step in and pick yourself and believe that we’ll figure it out together. So that’s the work to get into the community.
Hannah Cree 8:46
Have a topic or question about SheEO send us a voice note to hi at sheeo dot world and it could be featured on the very next behind the scenes podcasts.