How to Build Up Community Capital to Nurture Your Ecosystem

Recently, Anika Horn, Chief Social Venturer at Social Ventures, launched Ecosystems for Change, a new podcast that explores how ecosystem building can help us unleash the full potential of the makers, doers, innovators and visionaries in our communities. Last week, she featured Debbie Irwin, Executive Director of Shenandoah Community Capital Fund (SCCF), an entrepreneurial support organization serving the entire Shenandoah Valley, to discuss how Irwin became an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder and how the term “community capital” is about a lot more than investing money. Learn more about the podcast below:

In this episode, Horn and Irwin discussed how important it is to fully see people when building an ecosystem. They talked about how to be a convener in an ecosystem without becoming a bottleneck, as well as who took Debbie under their wings when she first started out as an ecosystem builder.

Listeners will learn more about:

  • How we can amplify community capital and build on-ramps for other supporters, without being the ecosystem leader;
  • Why collaboration and coalition-building among organizations requires a mindset shift out of scarcity thinking;
  • Why it’s important to build WITH, not FOR our communities;
  • Why Debbie and SCCF undertook listening tours around the region and how they implemented them to make communities feel seen and heard; and
  • Who you need in your corner to weather tough times