Recognizing the transformational partnerships fueling economic opportunity
We all thrive when we have a community cheering us on. To provide entrepreneurs with an ecosystem of support, DreamSpring works with diverse community partners to expand access to business credit, make loans, and provide guidance. Together, we rally behind small business owners so they can make the most of every opportunity and be catalysts for positive economic change.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we recognize two dynamic partners, Vanessa Roanhorse of Roanhorse Consulting and Lindsey Vigoda of Small Business Majority, who serve as strong community leaders and advocates for women in entrepreneurship.
“Historically, there have been so many ways women haven’t been set up for success,” says Lindsey. “Economic improvement is on the backs of women who are getting things done.”
Lindsey Vigoda directs Small Business Majority’s outreach, policy and fundraising efforts in Colorado. Leveraging her social work background, Lindsey builds and maintains close relationships with small business communities throughout the state to advance key policy issues. Previously, she served as Small Business Majority’s Colorado Outreach Manager, coordinating the organization's education and small business outreach across the state.
Small Business Majority is a national small business organization providing educational programs and resources to small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country, including Colorado. During the pandemic, Small Business Majority prioritized providing rapid updates on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and other disaster lending. Using platforms like Venturize – a free online resource hub of state-specific and federal tools and unbiased education on financing resources – Small Business Majority shared critical funding and policy information small businesses needed to navigate pandemic relief programs safely.
“You’re not alone as a small business owner,” says Lindsey, referencing the difficulty small business owners have faced in recent years. “There is an arsenal of folks who want to see you succeed, [from] community members [to] like-minded entrepreneurs or organizations. There are so many people who want to see you succeed. I would never want someone to operate in a bubble. There is a wealth of community that you can tap into.”
Vanessa Roanhorse of Roanhorse Consulting, who shares DreamSpring’s commitment toward economic equity and advancing entrepreneurship, offers similar advice for entrepreneurs new to the small business sector.
“My journey to start Roanhorse led me to cofound Native Women Lead because of the challenges I faced and my lived experience. I want entrepreneurs who are in my shoes to know there are more than enough incredible networks and organizations out there," says Vanessa. “We often don’t come from a place where we value networks the same way corporate America does, but these are powerful places. I encourage entrepreneurs to look at the relationships they’ve already built and invested in... I think that new entrepreneurs and social organizations built to solve large issues will change how we think about networks and relationships because they are based in a place of solidarity.”
Lindsey Vigoda (L) of Small Business Majority and Vanessa Roanhorse (R) of Roanhorse Consulting
Roanhorse Consulting (RCLLC) is an Indigenous women-led think tank. RCLLC works with unheralded communities, businesses, organizations, and individuals to achieve and aspire their self-determination through forging communities of practice, strengthening indigenous evaluation methods, creating equity through entrepreneurship, and encouraging economic empowerment from within.
“I want women to know that we are growing businesses twice as fast as our male counterparts, says Vanessa. “Nationally, women of color are often the breadwinners despite earning less than men. Women are driving economies. Women are leading businesses. We are moving into the circle of leadership. We should lean into each other and our networks of women in leadership. We’re going to see more women CEOs, but we need to link arms each day to build this.”
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