This May, Xcelerate welcomed Gloria Coleman and Jennifer Hardnett of Four Forces Inc. to our team as Business Assessors working alongside our Programs Coordinator Matea Ivanovic to support owners and help streamline and improve our workflow and processes. Four Forces Inc. is also part of our coaching pool covering multiple categories/industries and Jennifer previously facilitated Xcelerate’s BIPOC Peer Mentor group in 2020-2021. We are excited to share with you this brief interview with Gloria and Jennifer.
What inspires you about Xcelerate's work/mission?
Gloria: I love that Xcelerate has created a hub for women businesses to access services and education to further their personal growth and business maturity. It's not a cookie cutter approach, rather an intimate journey to move through each business level with grace and supportive resources.
Jennifer: What inspires me about Xcelerate’s mission is that it is centering women business owners of all shades and cultures. Xcelerate by far is in the business of being authentic in its approach. The coaching and peer support models are inclusive and provide women owners the opportunity to take the coaching tools learned and/or practiced producing sustainable businesses.
How has your identity as a woman and any and all other intersectional identities impacted your career journey?
Gloria: As an educated black mother of 3, native of Oregon, I realized early on in my career that my credentials meant nothing in spaces with individuals that didn't value the knowledge I had to offer. It took me owning my natural gifts to drive governance with my love for projects & processes to accept that my power lies in facilitating organizational change regardless of who's onboard and who's not. My career employs the skills I need to activate my voice without fear of judgement (too loud, too assertive, bossy, etc.) to ensure others are getting done the right thing, holding all parties accountable and getting to the definition of done with my visualization techniques.
Jennifer: I identify as a predominantly Black woman, and I am also proud of my Asian, European, and Latin heritages. Being multi-ethnic has provided me many social disadvantages and educational privileges. I began my career in business and marketing, as I learned through experiences I witnessed and were challenged with, I changed my mindset and career path. I went to immersing myself into the financial services, health systems, public health and legal services industries. I began to work for myself starting with a community investment project that inspired me start my own business in 2019. I primarily work with community organizations to reach underserved populations and help BIPOC-owned small businesses take their operations to the next level. I tapped into what I learned along the way to help underserved people and organizations gain access and resources—building wealth, building community. Essentially the knowledge gained, and network of people met, helped me be able to do the work I was destined to do. Helping to advocate, navigate, and strategize prosperity for people who have been historically underserved is my discovered purpose.
If you could pick any super power, what would it be and why?
Gloria: Clairvoyance. It'd make it easier to gather requirements.
Jennifer: My superpower would be being able to pause time. If I could pause time of who I engaged with then I would have enough time to help everyone who reaches out to me for support with their businesses. I would also be able to spend additional quality time with my children.
In November 2022, Xcelerate welcomed Matea Ivanovic to our team as Programs Coordinator. Get to know more about Matea!