University of St. Thomas Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Associate Dean Sheneeta White shared her perspective on social entrepreneurship in an episode of the "By All Means" podcast featuring Junita Flowers.
In 2018, Flowers, founder of Junita's Jar, looked to corporations to sell her cookies as a conversation starter with other women about domestic violence. After going through grant and accelerator programs, Flowers was able to attract interest from Target, where her bakery goods are sold today.
Allison Kaplan, editor-in-chief of Twin Cities Business and host of "By All Means," spoke with Flowers.
Kaplan: When did it click for you, you love doing this, you're passionate about it, maybe it could be a business?
Flowers: I've known since I was 12 years old that I wanted to start a business, that I was going to start a coffee shop. I started at the Maple Grove farmers market in 2007 ... Even though I started back then, I still wasn't convinced that I had a business. I was in the mode of 'I wanted to try a business but I needed to heal myself,' and so that's what it really was doing. This was a venue for me, to really start to bring healing into my own life.
Kaplan: There you are, last weekend at Target, massive launch. How did it feel?
Flowers: The opening weekend when I walked in, it was an out-of-body experience seeing it on the shelf. It was a feeling of excitement and gratitude. Being grateful that there were people who believed in you, created opportunities. I'm still kind of riding that high, and I will ride it for a while.
Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Associate Dean Sheneeta White spoke with "By All Means" in response about social entrepreneurship.
Kaplan: Do you see a growing number of entrepreneurs today that are driven by the mission?
White: Absolutely. Social entrepreneurship probably started about 40 years ago, just really looking at individuals who wanted to make systemic changes and impact the lives of individuals or the community around them, and it is growing tremendously. I think with the way the world is now, everyone wants to give back, wants to help. It's a great thing.
I think with social entrepreneurship, you have to keep that [story] in mind. Don't lose sight of it, because that is who you are, what gives you that drive and that passion and that energy to get up every day.
Listen to their conversation here: