Brooke Solomon, Main Street’s Data & Online Content Manager, interviews Jen Leybovich, Main Street’s Senior Vice President – Strategy & Development. Prior to joining the organization, Jen completed her M.B.A. at Yale School of Management, where she focused on economic development & social enterprise and was a fellow at Nonprofit Finance Fund in the Lending Division. Click here to learn more about Jen’s background.
Main Street Launch’s work adds value by leveling the playing field for entrepreneurship. By providing access to capital and business support services, all members of our communities have the opportunity to start and grow their businesses, which helps to build assets for themselves and their families. Business owners help grow economic opportunities for others by creating jobs and adding to the economic vitality of neighborhood business districts.
What inspires you about our work?
I love that we get to work with talented, driven, community-oriented entrepreneurs, and that their success also fuels the economic development of our communities. It’s inspiring to see how small businesses create a sense of community by bringing people together and contributing to the character and creativity of neighborhoods through their products and services.
How did you come across Main Street Launch?
I visited Main Street Launch when I was finishing up my MBA to learn more about Bay Area nonprofits in economic development. I saw that Main Street had been serving entrepreneurs for over 30 years and wanted to join an innovative, experienced, impactful organization, so after I graduated I interviewed to join the team.
In what ways do you support the programs at Main Street Launch? What’s a brief description of your role?
I focus on raising our grant and loan capital, so that the organization has the funds it needs to make loans to entrepreneurs and support organizational costs. I also contribute to organizational development and strategy efforts, impact reporting, and partnerships.
What do you enjoy most about working at Main Street Launch?
I enjoy the dynamic, innovative environment at Main Street, and our passionate, experienced staff that care deeply about supporting entrepreneurs and strengthening our communities. It’s great to be part of new initiatives that are exploring innovative ways to make an impact.
Is there anything else you want people to know?
I really enjoy being a part of collaborative efforts within our sector to further inclusive economic development. It’s been a great experience to Chair the San Francisco Economic Development Alliance (check out SFEDA.org) and a Racial Equity Working Group within the CDFI industry (check out our toolkit at OFN.org/equity under Information and Resources).