We’ve all heard the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” and other iterations of the phrase. But have you ever heard the phrase “It takes a village to build a business”? Within the business world you often hear terms like network, mentors, and advisors — but in all the years I’ve spent surrounding myself with entrepreneurs, studying entrepreneurship, and working across a spectrum of businesses, I never really heard the term “village” used. That is, not until recently.
Over the past four years, I have had the privilege of meeting hundreds of incredible women in Knoxville — entrepreneurs, leaders, activists, or all of the above. One question I started asking every woman I met is, “What legacy do you want to leave behind?” With every answer I received to that question, a common thread began to emerge.