In November 2022, Xcelerate welcomed Matea Ivanovic to our team as Programs Coordinator. Matea works closely with business owners to access the right programs to drive their business growth with the right level of support. We are thrilled to share this interview with Matea.
What inspires you about Xcelerate's work/mission?
I believe economic equality is the foundation for women's full equality. America has seen many cultural gains for women, but they haven't tracked equally with economic gains nor have they been distributed equally. Financial independence gives women choices, the breathing room needed to take risks, and the resources needed to mobilize for lasting change.
When resources and power are distributed equitably, I believe you get something other than "business as usual." It can seem like the whole world is operating on a competitive, zero-sum mindset. As a consumer, I often feel like everything is getting more expensive, homogenous, and worse. However, the owners I work with are passionate about quality goods/services that uplift people. So many are interested in alternatives to the unsustainable growth that dominates our economy. The women I serve through Xcelerate give me hope for a better world.
How has your identity as a woman and any and all other intersectional identities impacted your career journey?
I'm a first generation refugee from the former Yugoslavia. I always joke about "eldest immigrant daughter mentality" - people pleasing, scarcity mindset, overly-responsible. But on the other hand, its given me the gift of empathy and connection. I honor that by putting community first, which is what led me to a nonprofit career path.
If you could pick any super power, what would it be and why?
I would have the power of teleportation. If I could take a 15 minute break in a quiet forest when I needed it, or see an old friend across the country, my life would be a lot more joyful. Not to mention how cool my Instagram feed would be :)