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Reed Evans is the owner of Scale it Up! Sustainability Training for Women Entrepreneurs – sustainability allows entrepreneurs to address environmental and societal challenges while building their business.

Outside of her organization, she loves staying active by biking, hiking, swimming, doing yoga and pilates.

Reed knew she needed to create this training when she asked a speaker at a big women’s entrepreneurship conference if they advocate training for women entrepreneurs to learn about integrating sustainability into their business. The speaker was speechless. It was then that Reed realized the speaker didn’t have an understanding of what Reed was talking about.

Today, Scale it Up! focuses on popularizing and offering business training to women entrepreneurs to help them succeed for the long-term in markets that increasingly value sustainability.

In today’s podcast episode, Reed talks about how you can integrate sustainability into your business. She educates us on what a sustainable business is and discusses the challenges of convincing people why it’s important in business.

“Make sure that you are totally passionate behind what you want to do, and that you’re willing to commit to making it happen.” - Reed Evans Click To Tweet

In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:

  • Reed educates us on what sustainability in business is.
  • She shares how a conference speaker’s lack of knowledge on integrating sustainability into business, inspired her to start teaching others how to incorporate it into their business.
  • We discuss Reed’s greatest entrepreneurial challenge – convincing people that this is important.
  • She also shares about why she’d like to have lunch with Richard Branson.
  • She teaches you simple ways you can add sustainability to your business.
  • Reed also shares an awesome tip for transcribing interviews with Google Docs.

Reed’s Favorite Online App:

  • Google Docs

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Welcome to the show Reed.

Thank you. It’s great to be here. It’s great to have you. Um, First tell me about yourself outside of your business. I teach.

I’ve been teaching a long time.

In addition to that. I also teach a writers group yoga certified yoga instructor. I love like I love to hike. I love to swim and like Michigan. So I live in Chicago, pretty close to going swimming in the lake. And I’m sort of an outdoors person. I’m single, I live in a high rise and just try to take advantage of all the wonderful things which progress offer.

So tell me about scale it up and what you’re doing with your sustainability training for women entrepreneurs.

Sure. So I founded a program called scale it up sustainability training for women entrepreneurs and it’s a nonprofit program. I’m a sole proprietor, I’ve got a fiscal sponsor, we are launching our programs this fall here in Chicago in the us a couple years ago I did a pilot workshops in Europe because I was living in Europe did one in suckle one of Vienna Austria at impact habits, which are social enterprise co working spaces. And they were great. They were basically weekend workshops for three days. And when I moved back to the United States and back to Chicago, I decided that I wanted to really build a larger program, something that we could expand, move to other cities and then back out into the world. So the focus for that my definition of sustainability is triple bottom line, people planet profit in setting the strategy to be able to take into consideration the environment, society and the profit of the company. And currently entrepreneurs, almost all of them when they go to see training to build a business, they don’t receive the strategy to how to do that. And my personal feeling is why not and we have this beautiful planet, but we have a lot of challenges. We’ve got a lot of pollution challenges climate change, we’ve got a lot of challenges to address in addition to societal challenges and sustainability training with allow entrepreneurs to be able to address those while building a business successful.

At what point did you know that this training was something that you wanted to do? Oh, I know exactly the moment that it happens. So I was working in Stockholm, I was working for a big science organization, I was their sustainability and their communications manager. And I went to this big Women’s Entrepreneur. So 700 people from all over the world, in the middle of Stockholm. And I was so excited to go there and hear about them, all of the amazing things that were happening with regard to sustainability in and to my surprise, it was not even a topic it wasn’t being discussed. And I couldn’t believe it. And so one of the women that was talking, she was a major representative from a governmental agency here in the United States was talking, there was a q&a and I wrote, I raised my hand and said, Do you advocate any training for women entrepreneurs to get knowledge and skills about the opportunities and benefits of integrating sustainability into their business. And this woman was very eloquent and talked a lot. And she was speechless, because I realized she didn’t have an understanding of what I was talking about. And she has ever been in. And there was a pause and, and she said, Oh, women don’t need that they’re closer to and that was the moment when I thought, wow, this woman is an advocate of training women to be prepared for business in the future, and prepared to become business leaders. And I just learned that we are not giving women those skills. And I think that’s a shame.

What’s been your greatest challenge so far, convincing people that this is important, the industry itself is very big that train software I ideally, what I the training that I provide, and that the facilitators that I work with will provide is training that’s complimentary to traditional business training, it’s not competitive, so it’s additional skills. And so I want to partner with traditional business organizations that support women. And they I think, don’t see that this is important, because they’re not trained to believe that if we don’t have an industry, we don’t have coaches and educators are many that see it that way, because they were train that way. So we all tend, you know, when we’re educators, we tend to train people as we have been trained, as opposed to finding new ways. So I think I feel like the industry’s kind of lagging behind the trends actually out there for business. And I think that’s the major challenges, getting them excited about this amazing opportunity to give these skills and knowledge to America. So if you could have lunch with one business thought leader, who would it be?

It would absolutely be Richard Branson. I read some of his books, I think his mindset and I know he started off by founding an airline. Okay, so that’s not exactly the most sustainable direction where he’s gone from there. He has supported and continue to support business, but also business for good. And he’s got a nonprofit called unite. And he is taking his message around the world and inspiring entrepreneurs to create business good, which is important. And I would give anything to what advice do you have for someone that is either getting started in business or wants to add the sustainability aspect to their business?

First of all, ask I mean, there’s a very standard question for all businesses is like, what is the challenge or the problem you’re trying to solve in society and or the environment? And that’s for all businesses. Anyway, they do that. And then the second question I would want to ask and have someone answer is, how is it possible to solve that challenge or problem and create a healthier, more resilient, in addition to that, if those two questions can be answered and followed, then I’d say also make sure as as an entrepreneur, that you are totally passionate, 100% passionate behind what you want to do, and that you’re willing to commit to making it happen. And if you really answer those questions, and you’re already going to invent sustainability into your business, because you’re committed to and you’re passionate about it. Sustainability is something some people look at and they say, Well, how am I going to benefit from this? How am I gonna it What can I do, do you recycle as I’m talking about are you mean that I have to, like give money to somebody else. And I think it’s there’s many, many aspects stain ability. There’s there’s newly ratified the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations, there are vast amount of aspects of sustainability that allows an entrepreneur to be totally creative, and how they address sustainability in your business and how they communicate it. So I think to learn as much about it as possible, and then integrate it into whatever they’re doing can allow an entrepreneur to be passionate and to also be successful and to be authentic.

So what’s your favorite internet internet resource or app that just makes your life easier,

I think I’m a bit of a Luddite. I hate to tell you this. But I’ll tell you what, I it’s not exactly internet resource. But it’s Google docs for is the saving grace. And on top of that, I also do interviews. And for any of your listeners, I’m looking to interview amazing entrepreneurs that are building sustainable businesses for my block. And so what I’ve learned is that on Google Drive on Google Docs, there’s a voice transcription. And I don’t know what the you know about it, that you’re doing podcasts that every if you ever have to do an interview, and you need a transcription. So in a Google Doc, if you hit tools, and you go to voice typing, and you hit the microphone, it will transcribe that person talking, or you and to me, that has changed my live interviews so much easier. You know what, I’m gonna have to turn it on during my podcast interviews. I can have transcripts.

Yeah, it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn good. It really is. It takes hours of time, you know, I was going to say, it’s way easier than typing it out. I tried to do transcripts one time, and it took like, 10 minutes to do just a few seconds, or of content, like, not even a minute, cuz, you know, you have to listen to it again. And then you’re like, wait, was that what they really said, and just know, I was reading a book as well. And so I was trying these interviews, and I was just going crazy, because of the amount of time it was taking. And so then I learned about this, it’s not always perfect. It depends on the internet connection, all that stuff, but it has saved me hours of time, or these pre recorded interviews, or do you transcribe as you’re doing this?

Well, I first I was transcribing so I would stick the audio did the audio or the video. And then I was putting it on to something called Oh, transcribe, and slowing it down, and then repeating it back, and then it was transcribing reading it. So but that was even faster than writing. And then for the last interviews I’ve been doing, I’ve created a Google Doc opened it up with the other person, you know, wherever they are at, and they open it up, and then they click on the microphone, and it goes right in. Now, unfortunately, it doesn’t always stay on it’s sometimes clicks off. So you have to interrupt the person and ask them to start again. But that hasn’t really been an issue is really helpful.

Oh, like in the You mean, in the same Doc, you can do it?

Yeah, they’re on the same document. I am in there speaking, their words are coming down on the paper. Oh, my gosh, I gotta do that.

Thank you. That is super helpful. makes life easier. Tip. Thanks. You’re welcome. So where can listeners find you online? What’s your website where you add on social media new brand new website, it’s called scale it up sustainability. org and I’m on Twitter at read underscore, scale it up. We’ve got a Facebook page scaling up dot org and I’m on LinkedIn to just published an article and I’m also posting some of the inspiring women stories from these interviews. So those are going up on LinkedIn and also on our walking the talk was awesome. All right. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today. It was great to talk to you.


Cindy Rodriguez is the host of the Start Fierce Business Podcast. When she’s not interviewing awesome entrepreneurs, she’s working on growing her startup, going to Disney World with her daughter, or reading a book.

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