It’s impossible to drastically improve the ecosystem of entrepreneurship support without the active participation of all members of that ecosystem, including you: the foundations, corporations, and governments that provide funding to the most active entrepreneurship support organizations. Yet there is somehow a large disconnect between what the ESOs need and what most of their funding partners provide, which is a major contributor to why ESOs have not been able to realize true impact and really move the needle. There is also often a large disconnect between what ESOs promise and what they actually deliver, leaving their funding partners feeling taken advantage of and wishing they could have more impact with their investment dollars. 

Venture Catalyst works with those who seek to support ESOs by partnering to define the foundation’s goals and then develop programs and initiatives that will allow those goals to be realized. Check out my white paper, Re-Examining Entrepreneurship Support Structures to Improve Outcomes for Under-Served Entrepreneurs, that explains why this disconnect happens and what you can do about it. 

While most of Venture Catalyst’s work focuses on the entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them directly, it is not possible to have a complete ecosystem without also collaborating with the foundations, governments, and corporations that financially support efforts to educate and encourage entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, the funding models currently utilized by these organizations generally fall well short of enabling the largest positive impact in the ecosystem.

To help those organizations that are committed to finding funding models that best support ESOs and the entrepreneurs they serve, Venture Catalyst works with foundations, governments, and corporations to develop new entrepreneurship support initiatives, create program evaluation models that work, and train staff on the basics of effective entrepreneurship support. If you’d like to speak with Cate about helping your organization improve its funding and evaluation models, please Contact Us

No matter what type of consulting you choose, we always follow the same process: Define your goals, assess the current situation, develop a strategy, commit to SMART goals, and then evaluate your progress and adjust.

Cate is available for speaking engagements at events focused on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship support. If you’d like to hire Cate for an event, please Contact Us.

Please note that, due to my current role as the Deputy Director for the Business Enterprise Program with the State of Illinois and the potential for conflicts of interest and/or perceived conflicts of interest, I cannot work with organizations that:

  • Are currently performing on or pursuing contracts with the State of Illinois
  • Assist clients with obtaining BEP Certification
  • Assist clients with obtaining contracts with the State of Illinois