Roundtable sparks talks about entrepreneurs and mental health

Startup Sioux Falls said as soon as they announced the event, they heard from many entrepreneurs in the area praising the importance of the discussion.
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 9:17 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Startup Sioux Falls has been looking to broaden it’s services to new and local entrepreneurs, especially with their impending move to downtown. But what they’ve heard and are looking to address, is the growing issue of mental health in business owners and the stress they face in being successful.

Startup Sioux Falls’ roundtable on mental health drew the crowd they were hoping for. The organization said as soon as they announced the event, they heard from many entrepreneurs in the area praising the importance of the discussion.

“We have not seen this kind of interest in an event in this kind of critical mass in some time. We have our quick book seminars and we have our business basics. But this is something that people care about deeply.” said Startup Sioux Falls Executive Director Brienne Maner.

The meeting’s speaker and the president of Veritee, Mary Wolf, said it’s important they have this conversation with local entrepreneurs because often, the pressures of success can mask taking care of themselves physically and mentally.

“It is hard to get them to take care of themselves, and that often leads to burnout. Because they are so driven, and they are focused on the growth and the development of their business, gaining employees, financial strength and growth.” Wolf said.

That’s an important area of focus for Startup Sioux Falls, as they look to broaden their services to new business owners for what they need to succeed.

“A shocking statistic that I was just made aware of is that 72 percent of entrepreneurs struggle with their mental health. Obviously across the board, human beings struggle with their mental health,” Maner said. “We want to make sure we’re offering a robust offering of services. That includes being able to be open and honest about how you’re feeling, what you’re struggling with. Whether that’s mentally or financially, all of those things can play a role in your mental health.”

Wolf said aside from the number of resources their hoping to connect entrepreneurs to, they want to encourage them to seek allies elsewhere. They could be other entrepreneurs, or just someone they trust to share their thoughts with.

“We really encourage entrepreneurs to find a mentor, or just their ‘person’. Someone to talk to, someone who’s objective and confidential.” Wolf said.

Maner said their goal is to make conversations about mental health something more common in their space, connect individuals to resources, and encourage entrepreneurs to discuss their challenges before they become too much to handle.

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