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Wickedly Smart Women

Aug 12, 2020

For people who live near the poverty line, a one dollar increase in hourly wage means losing access to public assistance. But this increase in income does not make up for the loss of benefits, and many families get caught in a vicious cycle: If you can’t pay for childcare, you can’t work. And if you don’t work, you can’t feed your family. So, what can we do to make childcare affordable for every parent?

Alessandra Desiderio is the Founder and CEO of the CREW Childcare Rewards, an app designed to revolutionize the way we pay for childcare and create a world where all parents can afford to care for their kids. Alessandra also serves as the Development Officer at Colorado Lending Services and Managing Principal at Fiore3 Consulting. She has 15 years of experience in development leadership, personally designing, launching and selling startups in the tech, service and advocacy space.

On this episode of Wickedly Smart Women, Alessandra joins Emerald to share her mission to make childcare accessible for all, explaining how her own experience as a single mom and survivor of domestic violence informs her work. She weighs in on the challenges of being a non-tech founder, explaining how she leverages rapid prototyping and a willingness to fail fast in the creative process. Listen in for Alessandra’s insight on making difficult decisions and learn how you can be a part of CREW’s work to make childcare affordable for everyone.

What You Will Learn

Why Alessandra calls CREW her stain-on-my-soul project

Alessandra’s experience with the cliff effect and how it impacted her ability to afford childcare

How Alessandra’s willingness to fail fast informs her creative process

How Alessandra leverages Tom Chi’s concept of rapid prototyping

How the CREW app is designed to make childcare affordable

What CREW does to serve parents, childcare providers and businesses

The challenges Alessandra faces as a non-tech founder

How her brother’s resistance is pushing Alessandra to grow something strong

What we can do to support Alessandra’s mission to make childcare affordable for everyone

How building a relationship with grief supports decision making

Connect with Alessandra Desiderio

CREW Childcare Rewards App


Tom Chi on Rapid Prototyping

Connect with Emerald GreenForest

Emerald’s Website

Emerald on LinkedIn

Emerald on Twitter

Emerald on Instagram


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