Since April, we’ve been hosting a breakfast at the Columbia Tower every month, Breakfast with Beto. This is not only an opportunity for Ventures’ Executive Director, Beto Yarce, to spend time with the business owners Ventures serves, but to connect other entrepreneurs with each other. As all of us know, the best conversations and connections are made around a table with good food.
This started with the intention to provide a space to connect and build community, share successes and challenges, and network—an integral resource all entrepreneurs rely upon to navigate the world of self-employment.
“I’ve been part of this organization for almost 10 years and a majority of my time in Seattle—15 years dedicated to support and empower people to start micro businesses,” said Beto Yarce. “When I started working for Ventures in 2008 as a Latino Business Specialist, I was in charge of teaching our Business Basics Course and offered ongoing coaching and consulting to our Latino clients. I have been advancing my career at Ventures and 3.5 years ago became the Executive Director. I was not able to participate in coaching or working directly with clients as much as I used to…”
“Last year at InnoVentures, I was able to do a little bit of coaching to all our finalists and that reminded me how important it is to connect with clients and also how wonderful and exciting it was working with them. I came back to the office thinking about how I could create a venue to connect with clients that make them feel special and also to open the door to some of the networks I have access to… I reached out to Jen Hughes, our Director of Training and Incubation to share my vision and she said, ‘Let’s do it!’ and that is how the breakfast started and I love it! It is like an energy boost for me,” said Beto.
We keep it small with three entrepreneurs at each breakfast and occasionally, we have special guests join Beto and the business owners: Jacquee Kurdas our Corporate & Foundations Relations Manager, Mayra Gomez our Financial Business Specialist, and Board Member Dave Spicer.
“What I love about this program is how it opens the door for magical conversations we don’t always get the time and space to have in our courses or in business coaching appointments,” said Jen Hughes, Director of Training & Incubation. “We always want to open the door in creative and intentional ways so our entrepreneurs can give us feedback about our programs and services openly and honestly. The most impactful programs come from direct feedback from our client voices.”
We’ve hosted 19 entrepreneurs to date and look forward to continuing this monthly program in 2018. If you are a Ventures entrepreneur interested in learning more about this program, please contact Jen Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.