VNN partners with WREP to develop “Trauma Informed Business Development Toolkit”

Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 04/18/2023, 5:06 AM

(NATIONAL) VNN is proud to announce a From Adversity To Entrepreneurship (FATE) partnership with the Workforce Resilience Enhancement project (WREP). 

WREP is a project built by Chicago-based community workforce development organizations, the University of Chicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative, and the University of Chicago that began in January 2020. 

“FATE is an ever-evolving learning series, with a big emphasis on learning from our community members,” VNN Director Brittany Harlow said. “What they struggle with the most, what kind of support they need the most. But I knew we also wanted to give back and offer support for entrepreneurs now. While researching resources, I came across WREP and knew they had exactly what we needed.” 

WREP’s top-down resources and tools were created to emphasize understanding of how trauma can affect someone cognitively, behaviorally, and emotionally when trying to obtain and maintain employment, primarily designed for employers and workforce development professionals to serve employees.

As part of FATE 2023’s Learning Series, VNN Media Services adapted WREP resources for entrepreneurs. VNN is looking forward to presenting the “Trauma Informed Business Development Toolkit” to attendees at our in-person FATE event later this week. 

Want more news from diverse perspectives? Click here to sign up for free.  

Addressing trauma and its impacts can be very uncomfortable. Oftentimes, it may seem easier to pretend these experiences never happened, or that they don’t affect you anymore. But unresolved trauma will always surface, one way or another. 

Entrepreneurship has been linked to increased stress, decreased self-care, and depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues compared to just 48% of non-entrepreneurs. But for roughly 17 percent of all Americans, the risk is worth the reward. 

By acknowledging and processing trauma, entrepreneurs are able to lessen the likelihood of retraumatizing themselves during the entrepreneurship journey and give themselves the capacity to build an enterprise in a healthy, sustainable way. 

The goal of the WREP VNN partnership is to give entrepreneurs tools to help them address their trauma and be successful as they start and grow their businesses. 

In addition to partnering with WREP, VNN is also conducting a survey asking entrepreneurs to share their experiences with trauma. 

The survey is online. Respondents will be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card. 

This story was published as part of VNN’s 2023 FATE Learning Series: Trauma Informed Business Development. To register for free tickets to the 2023 FATE in-person event or take part in the series online, visit the FATE webpage.


This story has no comments yet