It was coincidence, magic, or a little bit of both that Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) arrived in the South Coast just as we were opening Groundwork. Dena and I met David Parker, CEO of EforAll, while we were still in our BETA space. We were excited to learn that a program with a stellar track record of turning out successful entrepreneurs would take root in our community. We were even more excited to learn that the dynamic duo of Shelley Cardoos and Jeremiah Hernandez would take the helm and build EforAll South Coast into what it is today.
EforAll exemplifies teamwork– not only amongst themselves, but in the way they involve the community in all aspects of their programs: from mentoring, to reading applications, to interviews. It is always fun to watch the members of each accelerator cohort grow to know and support each other on their journey.
Today, the EforAll team has grown– Chelsea Arruda, our resident graphic artist whose murals grace our phone booths lends a hand in social media, while Athena DeBrito recently signed on as the new program manager. In this interview, Shelley Cardoos takes a moment to share the magic sauce of EforAll behind the scenes:
EforAll is accelerator economic development and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship in mid-sized cities.
How did your team come together?
I was hired to help start EforAll South Coast in September of 2015. I was psyched when Jeremiah showed interest in getting involved. We had worked together previously with our past ventures CRAFT-O-RAMA / UGLYgallery. It was also exciting when Chelsea Arruda started helping us because she had worked with both of us in the past as well.
What do you do to keep communication flowing?
We communicate all the time! Texts, phone calls, g-chat, emails…. but plenty of face to face time.
How do you have fun and celebrate successes?
We are try to reflect often on what’s working well and what’s not working and recognize “wins” as often as we can. For fun? We’re just fun people, haha! We break out into song a lot.
Have you ever fundamentally disagreed on something important? How did you resolve it?
All the time. It’s always important to hear all aspects from each other. Sometimes if we really can’t decide, we bring the topic to our coworkers at other sites or HQ. The other perspectives really help.
What is your favorite part of working in your team?
Jeremiah and Chelsea are awesome! Everyone is passionate about the mission of EforAll.
What advice would you give to others about partnerships and team work?
- Learn each others strengths and weaknesses. Embrace them.
- Don’t take things personally.
- Remember your why.
- Don’t assume.
- Have fun.