Jeanette Brewster | Village Launch | Greenville, SC

During this episode, we’re heading south to Greenville, South Carolina. If you hop on I-85 it would take you slightly less than two hours to get to Charlotte, North Carolina. Atlanta Georgia is about three hours in the other direction. Greenville sits right in between these major cities. Like other medium sized cities, Greenville is facing some growing pains. With growth comes opportunity, but often at the cost of pricier home development. If you’re one of the two-hundred entrepreneurs that have come through a local program called Village Launch—you’re well aware of this conundrum. 

There’s an ongoing tension between the push for jobs and large-scale development alongside the desire to see more locally-driven economic opportunity. When big companies like Amazon or Wal-Mart enter into new markets, they may bring lots of jobs. But the jobs don’t typically pay much, so many people look to find supplemental sources of income. This is another example of entrepreneurship out of necessity — a phenomenon becoming increasingly the new norm. 

Jeanette Brewster is an Outreach Coordinator for Village Launch. She moved to Greenville in the 90s, says that the town has grown considerably, and has watched as gentrification has started displacing friends and family. At this point, if you’re not all that familiar with the paradox of gentrification—you owe it to yourself to learn more. Jeanette and others like her are trying to help answer this key question: what does responsible development look like for communities in transition? 

Links: https://villagelaunch.org/welcome


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Prior to the pandemic, it was already challenging enough to be a smaller, micro-business trying to break into retail, trying to understand the ins and outs and move forward and grow the business. Growing from the initial one store to the three stores to then 15 stores is hugely challenging because each store is different and it’s not a process where somebody is holding your hand and saying, “Okay, let me walk you through this”. So you’re stumbling along the way, figuring it out.

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