• Mary-Claire Johnson

Emily's Story: Leveraging her LIFE to Serve Entrepreneurs

Leaving a Legacy of Care

This past year Emily Brocato has been serving New Orleans entrepreneurs as the Launch New Orleans Program Coordinator. During her career as program coordinator, she has devoted her time to organizing Launch’s Business Academy, connecting entrepreneurs to resources, and supporting them throughout their journey to a thriving business. Emily says that these duties follow one of her professional guiding principles in life: to always pursue equity. 


“Most people that complete our 12 or 14-week Business Academies have the natural aptitude for this work, but they don’t have the generational wealth, resources, or access to what is necessary to pursue their calling. I’m super grateful that I’m the one that gets to send out the little coordination pieces, but that’s just one small part of what we do. And that’s what I love about our work, it is that we get to provide what’s needed for people to do what they want to do, but also what they need to do.” 


Launch New Orleans is comprised of two Business Academies that Emily calls the “foundations” of Launch. These academies equip entrepreneurs with a foundational knowledge of creating and maintaining a thriving business. But, the Launch program doesn’t just end after graduation.


“When we intercept someone in their journey, we pick them up as they are already pursuing this dream and we are just a layer they are adding on." Emily explains. "We intercept them in the stage when they need support. So we pick them up at 12 weeks and we use that momentum to support them for at least a couple of years so that they may continue to grow.”


This support comes in many forms, including office hours, monthly round tables with Launch alumni, and events. These are what Emily terms as the “roots” that branch out from under the cohorts. “There are many ways that we help people launch their business and help them to keep going by connecting them, equipping them, empowering them, and supporting them.”


Putting Words to Action

Launch Coordinators, like Emily, are determined to see entrepreneurs thrive. Yet Emily's efforts consistently go above and beyond, adding a level of relationship and intentionality to every interaction. In many ways, this intentionality is the embodiment of the equity she constantly pursues, as she doesn't focus just on organizational equity - but more importantly on the individual level, treating each entrepreneur as someone uniquely talented and giving them 110% every time, in every interaction, because they deserve it.



"We don't know our impact. We won't ever know exactly what it was, but we do what we can. And if we helped move them just an inch and they had to go on their way, we still helped that person. It’s all within God’s will.” - Emily Brocato



Recent graduates of Launch have happily testified to Emily’s individual impact in their careers. Recent cohort graduate Gina Jackson, says, “Emily is the most awesome person I’ve ever met.” 


Gina and her husband, Kenneth, decided to complete the Launch Business Academy to help support their business, The Jack-sons Collection, a personalized self-care company that sells homemade luxury soaps and other body products. Gina says that Emily provided more support than they could have imagined.


“She has been an inspiration on this journey. Our business was already open, but she has taken our journey and the support that we needed to another level. When you are building a business, you need all of the support you can get and she provided that and more.”  

Wheelbarrow in hand, Emily works side by side with Launch NOLA Green Entrepreneurs to help them finish digging during a build-day experience

Another entrepreneur, Amy Kyle, says that her journey to Launch is a “second act in life” in pursuing her dream of owning her own business. She has spent the past 25 years working for non-profits as a wildlife biologist, and is currently building oyster reefs for shoreline protection. Amy’s business, Willow, produces unique handcrafted home-decor. 


“My life is busy. I have a family, a full time job, and I’m trying to get my business launched. And the fact that Emily took the time to personally text me and email me for different opportunities really meant a lot to me. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude is contagious. You just don’t meet people like her every day.”


New Chapter, New Opportunities to Serve

Emily’s influence and expertise has been essential in empowering Launch NOLA's entrepreneurs to accomplish their dreams, and now Emily will be embarking on her own personal pursuit. This July will be Emily’s last month at La

unch New Orleans before she returns home to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to pursue her own dreams of grad school! 


We have been blessed to have Emily as part of Thrive New Orleans, and her work at Launch NOLA has changed the lives of many. We are grateful that she chose to leverage her L.I.F.E to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and we can't wait to see how she will choose to leverage her L.I.F.E while pursuing equity and restoration in the lives of those in Minnesota!



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