Indigo Founder and CEO Sheri Smith: Spiritual Entrepreneurship is Foundational to a Just and Inclusive Society

Indigo Founder and CEO Sheri Smith: Spiritual Entrepreneurship is Foundational to a Just and Inclusive Society
Washington, DC, April 20, 2022 --( Last week, Rev. Rich Tafel of the Church of the Holy City sat down with Indigo Founder and CEO Sheri Smith, one of the thought leaders in the field of spiritual entrepreneurship. Sheri created an education company called Indigo, with a vision of ushering in an education system that shifts away from standardization to one that empowers people to ultimately find work they love. Sheri’s book, “Spiritual Entrepreneurship: Raw Reflections of a Female CEO” is due to be published later this year.

In the 30-min interview Sheri shared details of her own spiritual path that shaped her life as an entrepreneur. “Growing up, I lived in poverty, and I wanted out, so I bought into the system.” She describes how, in her young adulthood, her search for meaning and purpose even led to join a legalistic evangelical church that some would call a cult.

This, by her own admission, resulted in great emotional pain, a broken marriage, and further loss of self-esteem. Sheri would spend the next two decades of her life helping young people to realize their intrinsic value, rather than living up to preconceived social and cultural notions of success.

Her testimony, like the pages of Sheri’ book, is raw and personal. “I don’t claim to have the answers. I am not the expert. I’m a practitioner. I talk about what I learned in my own practice, and through my lived experience,” says she.

Nonetheless, Sheri accomplished what few purely academic writers failed to do, which is to clarify the unique value proposition of spiritual entrepreneurship to business stakeholders, employees, investors and the greater community.

“Entrepreneurship, even social entrepreneurship, often bases its principles on exclusivity. It’s about ranking and sorting, which is the opposite of God,” says she. “On the other hand, spiritual entrepreneurship is about inclusivity. It’s about abundance and 'enoughness' – the idea that who we are is enough, that what you’re creating is enough. The 'currency' is not money, but love and serving others.”

Indigo’s business model reflects this approach. Just as the company first started in 2013, Sheri and her team raised almost $1M dollars in capital. With time, she sought to become completely self-sustainable, while also giving away some of the services for free. Case in point, during the COVID-19 pandemic

Sheri and her team created Indigo Pathway, a 7-minute innovative self-awareness assessment, helping people find fulfilling careers and job roles that match their inherent qualities. Assessment is offered to all free of charge, and is available on the company website.

Both spiritually-inspired, and entrepreneurial, Indigo served public schools in 30 states and worked with nearly 150,000 students. Sheri hopes that by instilling these values of greater self-awareness, alignment with greater purpose, and by modeling the way in our education system and business culture, will help us get ever closer to a more just and inclusive society.

Read the full interview here:

The Church of the Holy City holds a vision to create a space where spiritual leaders seeking to bring heaven to earth through transforming organizations will be able to obtain office space, mentoring, coaching and investment. CHC works both with spiritual leaders launching their own enterprise and also is a resource for business leaders seeking to develop their own spiritual life. Our work is not denomination or religion specific and is open to all faith paths seeking to do good in the world.

Rich Tafel is a transformative leader in the areas of faith, politics and social impact. As the Managing Director of Raffa Social Capital Advisors he matches impact investors to vetted social ventures. Partnering with investors his team provides back office support, public policy and strategic coaching to social ventures. Tafel is also pastor of Church of the Holy City in Washington, DC, where he launched a spiritual entrepreneur hub. Tafel is the founder of Log Cabin Republicans. Before moving to Washington, DC, Tafel was Adolescent Health Director for the State of MA and served as Assistant Minister at Harvard’s Chapel.
Church of the Holy City
Kateryna Pyatybratova