Meet our Outreach team - Hunter Nelson

Small Business Majority’s Outreach Team supports entrepreneurs on two fronts: It advocates for policies that benefit small businesses and it offers webinars and in-person events that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. We have found this work to be even more important as small businesses experience rising inflation, supply chain disruptions and workforce challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic.

We are spotlighting Hunter Nelson, Small Business Majority’s new Colorado Director, to let small business owners know how our team members can assist them.

Could you tell us about your position at Small Business Majority?

As the Colorado Director for Small Business Majority, I direct the outreach, education and policy efforts in the state of Colorado by building and maintaining strategic partnerships, educating the small business community on key policy issues and working on statewide policy efforts.

Can you tell me a little bit about your background? What were you doing before you came to Small Business Majority? What brought you here? 

I am a social worker by education, and I started off my career working in direct service with families, youth and older adults experiencing homelessness. I saw firsthand how policies at the local, state and federal levels impacted the people I was working with, who often held marginalized identities and had experienced systemic barriers to obtaining resources and opportunities. 

This ignited my passion for policy and advocacy, so I pursued my Master of Social work degree with a concentration in policy to equip myself with the skills to advocate for policy change through a human-centered, strengths-based approach. I recently graduated from Families USA’s 2023 Health Equity Academy in System Transformation maternal health fellowship cohort to become a stronger advocate for infusing equity into maternal health as the nation faces a maternal mortality and morbidity crisis.  

Prior to joining Small Business Majority, I worked for the Colorado Children’s Campaign as a Senior Policy Analyst focusing on health equity. So many of the policy issues that Small Business Majority works on align with my professional and personal passions. I love that we take an equity-centered approach to our work, focusing on small businesses owned by women, people of color and those in rural communities. Equity is central to who I am, and Small Business Majority is an organization focused on advancing these values. 

How will you work to support small businesses in your local community?

Colorado is a very geographically diverse state, and the needs of small businesses in one part of the state differ from those in another. One of my core values is community, and there is so much value to being in community and meeting people where they are at. Therefore, I plan to support small businesses in Colorado by traveling to their communities to learn about them, their businesses and what barriers they are experiencing. I also want to empower them by providing them with the tools and resources they need to advocate for the issues they care about.

Why is your work with small business owners important to you? 

As a Black woman, building generational wealth has often been out-of-reach for many folks in my community due to institutionalized racism that has contributed to significant disparities and inequities. Entrepreneurship is a way for underserved communities to build this generational wealth—I see it all around my community! From the woman who braids my hair out of her rented salon space, to my own family members who have started and run their own businesses, entrepreneurship allows Black people to thrive. Empowering underserved communities to build wealth through entrepreneurship is important to me because the well-being of not only my community, but society as a whole, depends on it. 

What goals do you hope to accomplish in your first year at Small Business Majority?

I want to expand our rural network in Colorado, especially in Southeast Colorado, connecting entrepreneurs there to education, resources and opportunities to advocate for policy solutions. I want to focus on getting more diverse entrepreneurs into a place where they feel like they have the tools they need to meaningfully participate in civic processes that impact their communities. Additionally, I want to create more opportunities for partnerships with nontraditional and diverse organizations across the state.

 

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