Tea Rozman Clark

Green Card Voices

Title: Executive director

Tea Rozman Clark, co-founder and executive director of Minneapolis nonprofit Green Card Voices, is leading production of a book, video and podcast series to share business lessons from 30 first-generation immigrant entrepreneurs.

To complete the series, "Green Card Entrepreneur Voices: Inspiring How-To Stories from Minnesota Immigrants," the organization has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, running through June 7, in an effort to raise $15,000. The series will include entrepreneurs from the Twin Cities, Stillwater, St. Cloud, Duluth, Moorhead, Rochester and other cities.

Green Card Voices, founded in 2013, has produced three award-winning series featuring immigrant youths in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Fargo as well as a teaching guide and traveling exhibits. More than 3,000 books have sold.

Focusing on firsthand, local stories of immigrants in the places where they live has been a key, Rozman Clark said.

Rozman Clark, a Bush Leadership Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, was recognized for her work in social entrepreneurship this month at the annual Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship Founder's Day event at the U's Carlson School of Management.

A first-generation immigrant from what now is Slovenia, Rozman Clark earned a doctoral degree in cultural history specializing in oral history recording.

Q: Why is Green Card Voices featuring this series on immigrant entrepreneurs?

A: The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. This pattern of immigration has driven America's success. As immigrants come they bring new ideas, new cultures and new perspectives that I truly believe enriches us all in many ways. We decided this would be in this political climate the best approach right now.

Q: How does a social enterprise work?

A: A social venture essentially merges an idea that will benefit a society with a business model. We still think through a traditional business model process where we have to understand the value proposition and the market. But the revenue goes back into the project and helps the project continue.

Q: How did you get involved in recording immigrants' stories?

A: I was born in Yugoslavia and was 15 when the war started. I worked in refugee camps and there is where my commitment to immigrants and refugees started. My passion is to create a platform where people can tell their own stories. Immigrants are always talked about but they never have a voice, and I think that needs to shift.

Todd Nelson