FATE is success- and women want more

Collaborator: VNN Collaboration
Published: 04/27/2023, 12:17 AM
Edited: 04/27/2023, 12:34 AM

Written By: Rachael Schuit and Brittany Harlow

(BROKEN ARROW, Okla.) More than a dozen local women met for a night of FATE fellowship and education on April 20. The theme of the evening was “Trauma Informed Business Development”. The most frequently asked question? 

“When is the next meet-up?”

While funding for FATE Trauma Informed Business Development is still limited, insight and intellect were plentiful at the 2023 in-person event. So was the community support.

After a brief FATE overview, VNN took time to name the community partners who made this year’s event possible. 

For instance, the space donated by Coworking Bravely

“It was such an honor to be a part of such a powerful night,” Coworking Bravely owner Sarah Aschkenas said. “Thank you for letting me be a small part in it!” 

The food was donated by Carabelle’s Eats and Treats, the childcare location was donated by Broken Arrow Parks and Recreation, and discounted childcare was provided by E-Nanny

A special mention was provided for the Chicago-based Workforce Resilience Enhancement Project (WREP), who partnered with VNN Media Services to create a “Trauma Informed Business Development Toolkit” for entrepreneurs.

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Builders and Backers was also a primary funder, funding trauma informed articles written by licensed trauma counselor and VNN Expert Collaborator Alexie Foster, who presented at the event. 

“The process of working with VNN as an expert collaborator was wonderful and easy,” Foster said. “I really enjoyed this whole process with you. I really got a lot out of it.” 

The effects of trauma on the brain are beginning to be more widely understood, amplified by Foster’s discussion of childhood trauma and how those effects transition into adulthood. 

Thanks to FATE 2023 preliminary feedback, one of the biggest stresses related to trauma-informed entrepreneurship is also making its way to the forefront: a lack of prioritizing self care. 

Maria Morris, owner of the justice-involved work program and catering company Carabelle’s Eats and Treats, said training herself to be able to take breaks was one of her biggest’s issues, and one she is currently working on.

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Morris shared the experience of losing her daughter, spending time behind bars, and what she has learned as she works through past trauma and mentoring others, like Carabelle’s Eats and Treats Kitchen Manager Tammy Wright.

Wright said she was grateful to take part in the event and for Morris, whom she credited with hiring her for a leadership role she never thought she would have.

“It’s helped me strengthen my people skills, when I struggle with talking to people I don’t know,” Wright said. 

Wright said the resources she received at FATE will help her support co-workers who have also survived trauma, as well as recognize her own trauma impacts and learn new coping skills. 

The goal of the April 20 event was to not only help entrepreneurs look at the ways trauma might be impacting them professionally and provide resources, but to also identify the greatest community needs and possible solutions for them. 

Fellowship, like the in-person event in which the discussion took place, was offered up as one of the most viable solutions to combating lack of self care, due to its tendency to promote accountability and cultivate grace.

VNN is currently conducting a survey to learn more about the trauma and entrepreneurship experience. You can take the survey here. Results are anonymous and will be analyzed and shared publicly in May. 


Ann Marie Worthley
04/27/2023, 8:39 PM

Great story!! Congratulations VNN for a very successful evening.