Sprockets Community Advisory Council Member Receives Finnovation Lab Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship

As one of 9 members selected for Finnovation Lab’s second cohort of Social Entrepreneurs fellowship program, Shaunie will receive a grant of $50,000 to cover living expenses, one-on-one mentorship with other entrepreneurs, and the opportunity to begin building her business plan for Ju+Co Café. Ju+Co Café is a “social enterprise café that connects, employs, and inspires women of color through youth development, personalized coaching, and economic opportunities.”

Stemming from her own experience and the reality for many others, of seeing limited opportunities or spaces for youth in her own community back in Detroit, and a dream of opening her own business, Shaunie is looking forward to blending these two passions together through this fellowship. Specifically, with a focus on empowering young women of color. In developing her own vision, Shaunie has connected with several entrepreneurs and social enterprises within the Twin Cities, including Cookie Cart and Appetite for Change.  Soon, she is hoping to facilitate focus groups to hear from youth themselves what they would like the space to look like and what they would want from Ju+Co Café.

In these following 9 months, Shaunie will continue developing her business plan with the goal of having a finished plan at the end of the cohort. In addition to networking and connecting with her mentor, Shaunie will also be designing her youth curriculum and learning more about the technical aspects behind opening a business, including raising the money needed to both implement and sustain her vision.“Everyone keeps saying don’t worry about the money, but I’m like, how can I not worry about the money?” she jokingly expressed. Though much work is still ahead, Shaunie hopes Ju+Co Café will become a reality by 2021.

Congrats Shaunie! We look forward to the innovation you will be sharing with the Sprockets network and the larger Saint Paul community!

Check out the official press release here