“My grandmother passed away on Friday. When I reflect on her life, I think of a strong woman, one of the many strong women who made me the person I am today. I grew up in a rural community in Arkansas, where the woman’s place was in the home, and where the man was the breadwinner, the head of the household, controlling most, if not all, financial decisions for the family. I absorbed those norms and beliefs as a little girl,” claimed Jensyn Hallett, one of the remarkable women in the Invest for Better community. She was explaining why she established the Southern Capital Project a few years ago.
The lessons from her upbringing influenced Jensyn’s relationship with money. As she grew from that little girl into the powerhouse she is today, Jensyn committed to help women transform their stories about money. When she realized that her home state fostered inequities in the economy that negatively impacts the women who live there, she knew it was time to do something.
The Southern Capital Project was established to ensure women in the South have equitable opportunities to build wealth. The group’s first initiative focuses on business as a pathway to prosperity and access to capital. The Project partners with women entrepreneurs to provide crucial dollars when they need it most. Jensyn and her Board, made up of 9 badass women, have also built a network of entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) and financial institutions within the state and region that provides these entrepreneurs with unparalleled local knowledge and expertise.
“If more women receive the funds they need to grow or to stay in business, we were successful– even better if we can prove that this model works to stimulate economic growth by increasing incomes and the number of jobs in rural communities. The need for flexible, low-cost capital is clear, and intentional design to remove barriers for women business owners is essential,” concluded Jensyn.
Jensyn Hallett is a passionate financial activist and impact investor, who wears a lot of hats. Not only is she the Executive Director of the Southern Capital Project, Jensyn is also the Founder & CEO of Alivest, the Director of Impact Capital at Heifer International, and a Professor at the University of Arkansas. With all of that, she still finds time to be an Invest for Better Leader in Arkansas and we are so glad that she does!
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