Lessons from our peers: A reflection on the One&All program
Oct 23, 2020
When we joined the team supporting LEAP’s first cohort of One&All participants, we were ready to share our communications expertise, provide ideas and counsel, and help with content, education and small business support.
We didn’t expect to become a part of a unique and irreplaceable community. We didn’t expect to become a part of a family. And -- TBH -- we didn’t expect to get more than we gave.
If you’re not already in the know, LEAP One&All is an inclusive entrepreneurship program designed to increase successful entrepreneurship and small business ownership among underrepresented populations who fall at and below the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) threshold, commonly known as the working poor. ALICE households earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but less than the basic cost of living for the state. Some of these populations include people of color, women, persons with disabilities, immigrants, military veterans, racial or ethnic minority groups, and refugees and returning citizens.
The program offers participants a unique combination of business and communication training (haaaaay!), coaching and mentoring while also connecting participants with a professional network and financial assistance—all of which are common obstacles to success for entrepreneurs and small-business owners from underserved populations.
Going into this program, we knew P&G’s interests in government, nonprofit, and corporate social responsibility outreach and education made LEAP One&All a PERFECT fit for us. The One&All program speaks to a particular passion area for our team: combining entrepreneurship with supporting underrepresented populations, like entrepreneurs who happen to be women. Then you throw in a dash of social justice and small business ownership’s role in equity, and top it off with a commitment to serving English as a Second Language members of our community. We. Were. Here. For. It.
But we had no idea how here for it we’d be.
Thank you. To every single cohort member, thank you.
Thank you for showing us your tenacity and grit.
Thank you for showing us your ideas and innovative spirits.
Thank you for reminding us how special it is to be in control of your own future.
Thank you for challenging us to learn new ways to support you (RSS feeds, anyone?).
Thank you for reinvigorating our own passion and pride for being a female-owned and female-run business.
Thank you for caring what your graduation hair looks like.
Thank you for being dedicated to always having the right Zoom times.
Thank you for respecting us as peers and equals.
Thank you for understanding what it’s like when other people don’t respect us as peers and equals.
Thank you for reminding us how much we love what we do.
Thank you for your commitment to our town and state.
Thank you for your commitment to your businesses.
Thank you for your commitment to your families.
Thank you for your commitment to yourselves.
Thank you for giving us things to celebrate in this shitshow of a world.
Thank you for being a part of this community.
Thank you for making us a part of this community.
This week, we’re honoring the first LEAP One&All cohort’s graduation. We honor you, the small business owners who are learning and growing every single day. We’re still here for you, and we’ll continue to be as you transition into One&All alums. And we know you’ll still be here for us. Thank you.
From Kate, Malorie, Caroline, Hadley, Cassie, Lisa and all the rest of the team members at P&G, congratulations on your graduation. Whatever’s next on your entrepreneurial journey: We. Are. Here. For. It.