Welcome to The Sphere’s Resources Page
At The Sphere, we are on a mission to empower and connect driven women and nonbinary entrepreneurs, enabling them to unleash their full potential. Our goal is to not only uplift individuals but also inspire positive change within their communities and local economies.
On this page, you’ll find valuable resources, including guides, articles, and tools designed to support and nurture your entrepreneurial journey. Join us in creating a more inclusive, innovative, and prosperous world.
Explore these resources to help you make a meaningful impact and inspire others to do the same.
Dear Mover and Shaker:
In winter of 2021, a team of three Northampton female entrepreneurs designed and brought to life a project to bring attention and voice to the business owners in Florence, a village in the town of Northampton: The Resilient Project (https://thecommunityclassroom.com/resilient-project/). Through group portraits and podcasts, their stories were shared with a wide audience at a Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce event, a Northampton Arts Night Out Sidewalk Reception, a month-long window display in downtown Northampton, a WHMP radio interview, a Valley Free Radio interview, and a news channel 22 WWLP Mass Appeal segment. Themes emerged through this project from the stories of the 17 women featured, including their desire to have a local network of supportive women who were facing the same struggles as business owners. This was the seed for The Sphere—to create a hyper-local, vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northampton that is specifically focused on the needs of its women and nonbinary entrepreneurs. Because you shouldn’t have to be a man to succeed in business ownership.
We wanted to build on the initial connections and momentum from this passion project, but move from building awareness to thinking about how to locate, network, and support these entrepreneurs in ways that are specific to their particular needs as female and female-identifying entrepreneurs. Business News Daily lists researched issues that are specific to female entrepreneurs, which parallel many of the findings outlined in the MACP 2021
- Defying social expectations.
- Accessing funding.
- Being taken seriously.
- Owning accomplishments.
- Building a support network.
- Balancing work and family life.
- Coping with fear of failure.
Our vision was to see which issues surface as the most important to our women Northampton business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, then create and iterate solutions to help alleviate those barriers, creating a pathway to success for entrepreneurs. The Design Thinking Process was then used by the Advisory Board to help create a large knowledge funnel that leads to the specific projects to fulfill the overarching vision: a vibrant, inclusive, sustainable ecosystem designed to specifically support the demographic of entrepreneurs unique to Northampton – and replicable best practices and solutions that can be implemented throughout the region (and, perhaps, the state).
That’s where you come in with this curriculum!
This process was made possible with generous funding from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
If you are interested in any coaching or facilitation support, please reach out at [email protected].
Please use the curriculum as needed. We do ask that you include attribution to The Sphere, Northampton.
The Sphere, Northampton, Leadership Team