Nebraska business is in the hands of those who love Nebraska most

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Nebraska business is in the hands of those who love Nebraska most

by Niheala Ponnatha

Women who have managed the hardships of moving across the world take on their next big challenge: Entrepreneurship.



Entrepreneurship is given a new light at the Echo Collective, where immigrant and refugee women are given all the tools they need to take their talent and make it a trade. From designing company logos to registering a business as an LLC - the ECHO collective puts Nebraska business in the hands of multicultural ingenuity.

Speaking to the founder of the ECHO collective, Kelly Ross, she revealed how the ECHO collective is a place for community-based education. Women in business in Nebraska come together to enrich the education of the current students. Ross says that this helps the entrepreneurs understand their clientele better.

“Making sure we are giving them a Nebraska-specific business education is important. The speakers are a big part of that,” Ross said.

The education doesn’t just stop when they graduate from the program. The Echo Collective offers continuous development and coaching at their office. Women who want to go above and beyond and learn subjects like UX design get matched with one-on-one coaching through the Echo Collective.

The ECHO Collective was not created to just share business education. More than anything, the ECHO Collective wants to give budding entrepreneurs the support they deserve.

“When we bring all the women together and we're able to learn about each other's cultures, we learn that we're all the same,” Ross said. “We have the same dreams, hopes, fears. And once you do that, it's so much easier to feel connected to your community and to feel less isolated and alone."

The community of small businesses in Nebraska showcases many diverse voices. The reason Ross even started the collective was to help encourage more people to become global citizens and facilitate intercultural relationships.

“Seeing the beauty in all the cultures that I am exposed to helped me become a global citizen - we learn that we’re all the same,” Ross explained.

In addition to building community, the ECHO Collective aims to bring confidence and comfort to the lives of immigrant and refugee women. They have a whole session where they uplift each other and gain confidence in their business abilities.

“At Echo, even though the programming that we have is all educational, it's really seeking to heal that disconnection that humans suffer from, but more specifically refugees and immigrants suffer,” said Ross.

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