Ingrid Vanderveldt has a list of successful ventures to her name.
The Austin, Texas-based entrepreneur has also seen her share of failure, including one that left her homeless and living out of her car.
“It’s one thing when you grow up blessed. It’s totally different when you’ve lost everything and you’ve hit rock bottom,” Vanderveldt said during an executive session breakfast at the America’s Credit Union Conference/World Credit Union Conference Monday.
In her time of need, Vanderveldt said it was a credit union that came to her aid, listened to her story, and decided to take a chance on her by helping her out financially. As a result, Vanderveldt said she continues to do business with and now directs as many individuals to that small, one-branch Austin credit union as often as she can.
“That’s the power of what happens when you give members that glimmer of hope,” said Vanderveldt, the founder and chair of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020, which aims to provide female entrepreneurs around the world with the tools and insight needed to successfully create businesses and leadership opportunities.
Vanderveldt didn’t just share a story of credit union appreciation to a room full of credit union executives. She also talked about three key business strategies that anyone, whether it’s an entrepreneur looking to fund a new venture or a credit union executive looking to make changes to position the credit union for growth, needs to take.
Those strategies are:
She said these three ideas are crucial to helping identify the strengths of an idea and will help individuals or credit unions embark on developing new ideas to grow their businesses.
“When you go out into the world, know you have something that adds value,” Vanderveldt said.