Founders Nextdoor is a podcast show run by me, Natasha Che. I started FN to share stories of local entrepreneurs in the DC area whose talent and hard work have made the communities they serve a better place to live. Through these stories, my goal is to provide you with inspirations, resources, and practical tips for your own adventure as a purpose-driven entrepreneur.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by those who started their own thing. But like most people, after finishing grad school I took the safe option of getting a job at a large organization in DC. There was comfort in following the crowd. Doing anything else seemed too scary and unrealistic at the time.
I did the going-to-an-office-every-morning routine for five years, but what I was doing didn’t hold much meaning to me. Because my work didn’t seem to benefit anybody, except filling some small blanks in a giant corporate to-do list.
When I left my job, I had one intention in mind: to create something useful to some people. I soon realized this simple goal was harder to achieve than I’d thought. The journey to create a meaningful product/service that benefits the world while achieving a sustainable level of financial return is a difficult one and fraught with all kinds of challenges and pitfalls. The overnight success stories of Facebook and Airbnb may help fill newspaper headlines, but they can’t be farther away from the real stories of entrepreneurship that are going on every day in every community, the stories of extreme hard work, dedication, humbleness, and courage.
I set out to learn as much about entrepreneurship as I could. And that is what I’m bringing to you— experiences and lessons from real people who have built real businesses that make a positive difference in their own communities. I interview entrepreneurs serving the Washington DC area because 1) it’s my current home, and 2) there is a thriving small business scene in DC. But I believe that most of the insights, tools, and practical wisdom shared by these amazing DC founders can be useful to you no matter where you are.
Enjoy the stories. And I wish you much success in your entrepreneurial journey.