Supporting Our Community One Connection at a Time – Meet Carole Fergusson
We’re excited to announce the newest member to the Start Up Waco team, Carole Fergusson. As Communications Coordinator, Carole will play an integral role in furthering Start Up Waco initiatives within our community. If you’ve met Carole, then you know her passion for her hometown spills out onto everything she does, especially when it comes to building a robust ecosystem that connects people and resources. Continue reading to learn more about how Carole’s vibrant personality fills a key role on the Start Up Waco team.
What’s your favorite thing about Waco?
Being a native Wacoan, I’ve seen the city transform in so many ways. It began with the downtown movement of “Wacotown” first being coined, through the initial Magnolia boom, and now here we are! Being involved in the community as it’s continuously being transformed has been my favorite attribute of living here. I love being involved in Waco as it’s pushing, growing and connecting with each other.
What do you hope to help SUW achieve in Waco?
Impact. Connection. Encouragement. Support. Even before I took on the Communications Coordinator role with Start Up Waco, I found myself meeting people and hearing their needs — I felt like I was already connecting the dots for them. I hope to leverage my connections and assist those who need resources for their business in various ways.
What’s your favorite part of the entrepreneurship process?
There’s something so real and raw about the initial pitch. It’s beautiful to watch the passion behind someone’s business idea unfold. Later down the road you look back at that moment and think about how much has changed and grown — I hope that’s something Start Up Waco can provide to those who have the ideas and fire to start something of their own but just need help finding the resources.
What are you most looking forward to in this position?
I’m an Enneagram 2, so my heart and passion is to help people. I’ve done that it in various forms from healthcare to domestic violence. It took a while for me to realize how that needed to look like for me, which is to help the community I’m in. I have a huge heart for this project and I’m really excited to be involved in the process. Naturally, I’m a creative person, but I also love the logistics and strategy behind the scenes. With Start Up Waco, I want to expand on my skills to provide networks, resources and the overall next steps for whoever I’m working with.
What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering Waco for a business?
Don’t judge Waco like you would a book by its cover. Waco has so many layers, organizations, passionate leaders and a huge heart for community. I know plenty of people who’ve moved away from Waco and always say, “I miss the community there.” Waco’s rich in community, which is an attribute not every city has. That’s something we can all treasure regardless of what we’re doing. That passion for community plays a huge role in our entrepreneurial ecosystem. There are so many people wanting to help, but don’t know how. Yet, there are also so many wanting to start a business, but they don’t have the proper outlet to do so. Start Up Waco exists to connect the lines between those people.
What role does communications play in the entrepreneurial ecosystem?
Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the heart of the city. That heart needs a strong and healthy supply to keep going, which is where the entrepreneurial ecosystem comes into play. The ecosystem itself needs to be fed for continued growth. Through various platforms, communications plays the role of catalyst, moving the ecosystem towards progress. Through strong communication initiatives, we can create the spark between the heart and the ecosystem. Connectivity is an important factor, and as we build our team of mentors, legal resources, creatives and more, we will rely heavily on vibrant relationships to provide that connective tissue.
How do you plan to grow the Start Up Waco initiative and continue making it a community-wide effort?
One thing I’ve noticed in Waco is how many Baylor-supportive initiatives there are. I love that, and think that’s absolutely vital and wonderful – but we have so much more to offer in the Waco area. As a McLennan Community College alumni and Tarleton State University at MCC alumni, I hope to tie in that community with SUW. TSTC is here too, so how can we connect them? I love that challenge. This goes beyond just education, and will involve working with other local entities such as the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. I hope to create a force that rallies together to help everyone. Whether you own a cleaning service or a bike shop, a barber shop or a birthing services business — we all make Waco a thriving city. This is a joint effort and we all need to be involved.