During FeMNist Day last year, Minneapolis’ Zoë Levin made the connection that got her Bim Bam Boo line of eco-friendly, bamboo toilet paper onto the shelves of the Wedge Community Co-op.
This year, event organizers hope the day of economic empowerment for women and nonbinary folks on March 8 will create similar outcomes.
“We have a lot of really awesome connections that happen out of this day, and I can’t wait to see what happens in Year 2,” said Alex West Steinman, a founder of the Coven co-working and community space, which created the event with Twin Cities writer Nora McInerny and her Still Kickin nonprofit.
The local chapter of the social impact group Power of 100 signed on as a host this year. At the showcase breakfast (which costs $100 a ticket) three women with big ideas will pitch them to the crowd.
Attendees will then decide which idea to back with their $100. There won’t be one single “winner.”
“We wanted to disrupt the typical pitch competition culture, because it’s typically very cutthroat,” said Steinman. “We wanted to empower the audience to really put their money where their values are, and all three founders will walk away with some kind of investment.”
Throughout the day, the Coven will hold a series of free workshops in its North Loop space on topics like crowdfunding, what entrepreneurs can learn from community organizers and how to reduce bias in hiring and recruiting.
Prominent local women, including McInerny, Wit & Delight founder Kate Arends and communications coach Shawn Judge, are also holding free office hours at the Coven, offering one-on-one, half-hour mentoring sessions.
“Maybe this leads to someone listening to your business idea for the first time and providing you feedback, or it could provide a little spark for you to walk into your boss’ office and ask for a raise,” Steinman said.
“There’s lots of opportunities to learn and grow. That’s one of my favorite parts, to see the connections that are sparked in just a short half-hour.”
As FeMNist Day turns to night, they’re also hosting a market with more than 50 women vendors at the Holden Room in the North Loop from 5 to 10 p.m.
McInerny, whose late husband came up with the “FeMNist” logo that gave the daylong event its name, said there will be a mix of return vendors and new folks.
Her only worry: overspending.
“I am physically unable to see my friend Amanda [Baumann] from Tandem Vintage and not purchase something,” she said. “She just really brings it to a pop-up.”