Grantee Stories: Jefferson Economic Development Institute

With the help of a generous contribution from The Women’s Fund, The Jefferson Economic Development Institute was able to support women to participate in JEDI’s Women in Business Leadership Circle program. Overall, they served 19 women (7 in Mt. Shasta and 12 in Redding), provided eight 3-4 hour sessions, and 24 hours of personal coaching.

The grant allowed the Women’s Business Center (WBC) at JEDI to develop a business leadership curriculum that is unique and transformative. The grant allowed JEDI to invest time in developing the program using the wisdom and experience of Diane Strachan of Positive Futures and JEDI’s Executive Director and Trisha Funk, the WBC Director. JEDI was able to implement the program in two different locations which helped them compare and contrast the nature of each group, the similarities and the differences, and the impact. The testimonials that Diane Strachan gleaned from her coaching sessions reveal the nature of how people’s perspectives and energy levels and commitments to their own success shifted even in just 6 months. It turned out to be a perfect and necessary thing during the onset of Covid-19 and the impacted economy. Through the program, JEDI was able to invest time and resources in women who are growing their companies. JEDI also assisted in the development of 19 “Vision and Goals” Statements for participants. They also helped businesses “pivot” in these unnerving economic times and that will hopefully lead to them continuing.

JEDI does hope to watch what the participants do with their business and their roles in the community. Everyone had to make hard decisions/choices and as far as they know so far, none of these people have decided to close their business. Those are valuable assets for our local economic recovery. Perhaps, this participant’s testimonial sums up what we are watching for over the next 6 months and before we launch our next round of circles: “I am not interested in leadership. I am interested in making a difference in my community with my business—if it makes me a better leader, so be it.”