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Celebrating YOU … Celebrating US!

By Valecia Quinn DEI+ TIC Chair/Director of JFCS Navigate

We see it everyday! Women across Jewish Family & Career Services, the Louisville community, throughout Kentucky and worldwide, women are leading by example, making significant and impactful contributions.

Coming from the news publishing industry, it was especially helpful to have women in leadership providing support and growth opportunities in a predominantly male industry, driving results every day for readers and advertisers.  Coming up on three (3) years in the nonprofit sector and in this role, as Director of JFCS Navigate, I’m fortunate to work with and support the strong business ecosystem in Louisville for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners, many of which, are women.

As we move from Black History Month, March gives special meaning to the women around the world and here in Kentucky, as we celebrate Women’s History Month.  Women are making an impact and taking charge! No matter the career focus, stage in life or the choice to stay home, women are the backbone to the rapid social transformation and economic successes in the world we live.

At JFCS, we’re working to propel our clients to achieve their business dreams or goals, by starting, stabilizing, or growing businesses.  These aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners are working to become an integral part of the local business community.  Over 55% of Navigate clients are women (slightly higher than the national trend), with many running households, raising children, or volunteering their time in the community.  In some cases, they are running their informal business structures ‘side gigs’ for extra income and wanting to take their passion to the next level.   You will find many Navigate clients with businesses tied to personal care, cleaning, food service, just to name a few of the key industries. Women entrepreneurs are ambitious, experienced, creative, and innovative,

Many of the group trainings that I conduct on entrepreneurship in the Louisville community, a greater percentage of participants tend to be women.  This supports the national growing trend of women entrepreneurs and Louisville, KY is a great city for supporting a person who wants to pursue self-employment. History has shown that women not only have what it takes to succeed in entrepreneurship but to excel and lead by example.

Every so often, I’m asked what appealed to work in the nonprofit space, working with many people from different walks of life.  I think the greatest appeal is the mentorship element of serving clients in developing skills and increasing knowledge to manage a business financially and operationally.  I’ve been fortunate to have had a mentor throughout my news publishing career, and currently still with my same mentor, in my move to nonprofit nearly three (3) years now.  The mentoring approach is taking the necessary time that a client needs to achieve their business dreams.  This has been a critical strategy for our work at JFCS.

So, promote and support women around you who are running a small business in Louisville.   Elevate women to the highest level to make the greatest impact for us all. Amplify women in leadership roles so the next generation can see that women can accomplish anything they put their mind to.