Unsung Hero Spotlight: Clark Rinehart, Raleigh, NC

To you, what is an Ecosystem Builder?

I think it’s someone who actively mines for the best in those around them and strategically knits together varying resources in their community.

What motivates you as an ecosystem builder?

People. Seeing people grow and thrive, personally and professionally, is my passion. Every person has a unique skill set that adds value to our community.

What is the most successful/impactful program/event/thing you do/have done in your ecosystem?

Growing a dynamic coworking company, Loading Dock Raleigh, that serves non-profit and small- to medium-sized businesses in my city, especially focusing on founders that are women and/or people of color.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an Ecosystem Builder?

Creating an asset map. That is, specifically knowing where resources are in the community and then connecting people to those resources.

What is your biggest frustration as an ecosystem builder?

My biggest frustration is when others solely focus on their silo rather than looking to connect with other people and businesses in the area. We’re better together.

What ecosystem building skill/knowledge do you want to gain?

I’d like to understand how to do a better job of creating business and social fabric in my community.

What are the most important things that need to happen to advance the field of ecosystem building?

I think it’d be great to have workshops/trainings around the community in order to aggregate resources and allow people to network. Access to capital is really important as well, so opportunities for grants and low-interest loans would be helpful.

What others say about Clark

Clark is responsible for bringing the first co-working space to the South East section of Downtown Raleigh, a historically black neighborhood. Prior to, there were 10 co-working spaces in Downtown Raleigh alone, all of which were located in typically affluent and/or primarily white neighborhoods. Clark’s work ensures that people from this neighborhood have a chance to participate in and benefit from Raleigh’s thriving startup ecosystem.

Connect with Clark at Loading Dock Raleigh.

Anika Horn

Anika Horn is an ecosystem builder for social change, social enterprise advisor and storyteller. She is on a mission to equip ecosystem builders with the insights, resources and community to lead fulfilling lives and purpose-driven careers. Learn more about her work at SocialVenturers.com and AnikaHorn.com.

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