In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re proud to shine a spotlight on the female entrepreneurs who have come through (or are currently participating in) reSET’s Impact Accelerator program. Today, we’re talking with Candace Freedenberg, Founder and Charwoman of Untapped Potential.
Meet Candace Freedenberg of Untapped Potential
Candace Freedenberg is the Founder and Charwoman of Untapped Potential, a CT-based Benefit Corp focused on serving professional women who opted out of the workplace, removing barriers for their career re-entry. Candace received the 2018 Women of Innovation Award presented by CT Technology Council and lobbied for Family Leave Act in 2018 working to ensure women can stay in their careers and business have a better chance to retain high caliber talent.
reSET: Tell us about Untapped Potential.
Candace: Untapped Potential (UP) provides a path to work-life success for top female talent by preparing and personally connecting women to local, curated, high-caliber positions with flexible schedules. A healthy balance is an attainable goal, with workers and businesses alike seeing the rewards through greater diversity, reduced stress, increased productivity, and higher retention.
Our work impacts gender equity, increases the number of women in senior roles and overcomes the “Motherhood Penalty” (where women suffer a 37% loss in salary following their career gap). Our business clients range from start-ups, non-profits to Fortune 100 Companies. We have impacted many women increasing their career projectile while adding significant human capital back to the workforce. Our three prong approach offering industry networking, a skillUP platform and experiential engagements with business is a low risk approach that removes barriers on both sides. It provides businesses low risk access to high caliber talent ready to launch. For women, our event driven approach gets them engaging in a professional way sooner than they would otherwise, prior to their skills completely dissipating.
reSET: What are some challenges you’ve faced and overcome as a female business owner?
Candace: In launching lean, one of the key things is minimizing costs while investing in your business. Balancing the right investment level has been a challenge whether it is investing time into the right contracts, training others or investing in systems that can save you later. I am still very measured as to what areas to make an investment in.
reSET: How did participating in the reSET Impact Accelerator program help you and your business?
Candace: Participating in reSET Impact Accelerator Program was critical for providing the framework of launching Untapped Potential Inc. I learned Steve Blank’s Lean Launch Method and became a raving fan of it! It forced me to put importance on things that I would have otherwise thought we were not ready for. Lastly, it provided a terrific network and key mentors that I would not have otherwise been exposed to.
reSET: Who are some of your female role models?
Candace: As I have launched this social enterprise, I have learned more of the struggles my mother faced as a business owner and one who re-invented herself multiple times to attain professional success in corporate America after becoming the parent she wanted to be.
reSET: What’s one piece of advice you have for fellow female entrepreneurs?
Candace: Understand when to pivot! Make sure to let the market (i.e. the customer) guide you. It is hard to break away from your original plan as it can feel like failure. I am a fan of trusting your customer discovery interviews. Continue to rely on them to guide your plans.
reSET: Anything else we should know?
Every entrepreneur needs a partner in crime. I would not have had the confidence to deliver Untapped Potential without the constant sounding board, support and sage advice of Christy Mitchell. She participated in the reSET Impact Accelerator, built our site and was key to Untapped Potential’s strategy. As our key resource needs evolved, Jennifer Frederick, has contributed client management skills and Jean Mix of Mix Educational Services has offered a necessary rhythm for engaging and training potential candidates.