Our mission at SureSwift has always been to improve the lives of the founders we buy from, our investors, and our team.
In our early days as a company, the scope of that mission was more limited. While we’re by no means Google or Amazon today, five years in things look a lot different than they did in those early days.
We’ve acquired more than 30 businesses, giving their founders life-changing exits.
We’ve welcomed team members from those businesses into our fold, as well as new hires and we now have 80+ people working across 14 time zones to run and grow those 30+ businesses.
We’ve done right by our investors by constantly improving on our criteria for the kinds of businesses we buy, and how we run them once they’re ours.
Now we’re thrilled to say that we’re adding another group of people to our mission: The broader global community of entrepreneurs.
Acting Globally and Locally Through Entrepreneurship
When our CEO, Kevin McArdle, gave me the assignment this year of launching a company giving program for SureSwift he let me know it was super important to him that it hit a global/local balance.
And that totally makes sense for who we are as a company. Being remote-first, all of us who work for SureSwift are part of a global team, but we’re also part of our local communities.
We also believe strongly that entrepreneurs are key to building strong local communities. When entrepreneurship is done right people are empowered to become creators, employers, and problem solvers. But mainstream lending and investment have left a lot of entrepreneurs behind based on arbitrary factors like their gender, age, the color of their skin, or where they live.
So the organizations we’ve chosen to kick off our giving reflect a local/global balance and strive to create opportunity where it’s scarce.
2020 Giving Spotlight: $10,000 to Kiva
Kevin loves the quote, “Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not.” Kiva’s mission is to crowdfund loans and unlock capital for under-served communities and geographies, so it hits that quote pretty much on the head.
We also love that they’re basically the nonprofit version of bootstrappers. The organization started with just 7 loans worth $3,500. Today they’re at 3.7 million loans worth $1.52 Billion.
2020 Giving Spotlight: $10,000 to Technovation
While SureSwift is remote-first, Kevin and several other folks are based in the Minneapolis area, so in a way, it’s our ‘hometown.’ So we love that Technovation is based in our hometown while working globally to empower girls and families to become leaders, creators, and problem-solvers.
As our VP of Operations, I can tell you firsthand that women are still underrepresented in Tech. Being remote-first helps us build diversity into our broad team, but our development team, like most companies in tech, is still predominantly male. And when we post a new dev job, the applicants are overwhelmingly male.
And this is a super common issue. In 2019, women held only 25 percent of computing jobs, and turnover among those women was more than twice as high as it was for men (Source: NCWIT). Technovation wants to change those stats by giving girls hands-on, entrepreneurial experience.
Kevin recently interviewed their Executive Director, Lisa Schlosser, on the Tech.MN podcast.
Building Purpose into Operations
The day-to-day operations of any company can get exhausting. There is just literally always something that needs to be done, that’s not. It’s a beast that’s always hungry. I know every bootstrapper out there gets that.
Building deeper purpose into our business — knowing that every team member I help hire can support themselves and their families, starting programs to help our team plan for retirement or get health care, and now launching a company giving program to help share our success beyond our immediate community — those are the parts of my job that energize me.
I’d encourage every entrepreneur out there to look for ways to build purpose into your Operations at whatever scale you can and for whatever matters to you. It makes the end-of-month reporting, the organizing, and the parts of your job that you “have” to do vs. “get” to do more meaningful.