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Sowing Seeds of Change: The Marigold Effect in Entrepreneurship

How Pooja Mehta's Vision Nurtures Businesses and Fosters Community Growth

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Devin: What do you see as your superpower?

Pooja: That's such a hard question. Two things come to mind. One, I feel like I'm a bit of a generalist. Another one is that I have had my fair share of mistakes running businesses and making investments, and I feel very comfortable at this stage in my life to really be upfront about it.

As the host of the Superpowers for Good show, I've had the privilege of meeting many changemakers who are dedicated to making a positive impact on the world. One such inspiring individual is Pooja Mehta, the founder of The Marigold Effect and Vice-President/Co-Owner of AMPM Enterprises. In our conversation, Pooja shared the profound influence of marigolds in her approach to business and philanthropy, offering a refreshing perspective on growth and community support.

Pooja described The Marigold Effect as inspired by the flower's role in a garden, where it supports the flourishing of surrounding plants. "Marigolds, when they are planted in a garden, really help other vegetables flourish," she explained, highlighting her mission to help businesses thrive through a similar symbiotic relationship. This concept resonates deeply with me, as it encapsulates the essence of what we aim to explore on the show: the power of individual actions to foster collective prosperity.

Under Pooja's guidance, The Marigold Effect has taken a novel approach to philanthropy and business support, emphasizing simplicity and accessibility in its microgrant program. By cutting through the red tape typically associated with grant applications, Pooja's initiative allows small businesses and nonprofits to focus on their core missions without being bogged down by onerous requirements. This approach not only aids the recipients directly but also sparks a broader conversation about the nature of support and investment in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Pooja's insights into investment crowdfunding were particularly enlightening. She revealed how this approach democratizes access to capital, allowing community members to invest in local businesses they believe in. This model of mutual benefit and support is a cornerstone of The Marigold Effect, fostering a sense of ownership and connection among investors and entrepreneurs alike.

Reflecting on our conversation, it's clear that Pooja Mehta's work with The Marigold Effect and AMPM Enterprises exemplifies the kind of innovative thinking and community-oriented action that can drive real change. Her approach to business and investment not only nurtures individual enterprises but also contributes to a healthier, more vibrant community ecosystem. As we continue to share stories of impact on Superpowers for Good, Pooja's vision serves as a powerful reminder of the potential within each of us to be agents of positive change.

Pooja will be speaking at SuperCrowdBaltimore and SuperCrowd24. Join us for those events. The discount code SuperCrowd will save you 30 percent in Baltimore and 50 percent for SuperCrowd24.

AI Episode Summary

1. Devin Thorpe, the show host, introduced his guest Pooja Mehta, the founder of Marigold Effect, which is named for marigolds' property of helping other plants thrive – an analogy for how her business helps other businesses flourish.

2. Marigold Effect focuses on three main areas: business advising, legal consulting, and impact investing, with the goal of reducing gender and racial wealth gaps.

3. Pooja discussed their micro-grant initiative, which aims to simplify the grant application process for non-profits, matching the level of effort with the size of the grant. It supports organizations working to close the wealth gap, particularly in the Washington DC area.

4. Pooja emphasized the importance of understanding the different perspectives of a founder and an investor, highlighting the need for founders to evaluate the sources of capital and choose terms that align with their business growth.

5. At SuperCrowdBaltimore, Pooja will be discussing strategies for businesses when considering raising capital, including the possibility of strengthening through reinvestment as opposed to external investment.

6. Pooja appreciates investment crowdfunding for the accessibility it offers to investors and as an additional pool of capital for founders, noting its unique ability to nurture mutual benefits between investors and founders.

7. For beginners in investment, Pooja recommends investing in things one understands, diversifying investments, and balancing expectations for potential return.

8. On the legal side of raising capital, Pooja emphasizes the importance of education about the process and compliance with securities laws while highlighting Regulation CF for its structure facilitating public fundraising.

9. Pooja cited her generalist approach and comfort with discussing past mistakes as her superpowers. She feels these attributes allow her to provide valuable insights and ask probing questions to help entrepreneurs strategize effectively.

10. To learn more about Pooja's work or to connect with her, one can visit her website,, and attend SuperCrowdBaltimore or SuperCrowd24, where she is set to speak on topics relevant to entrepreneurs and investors.

We invite you to share this episode with your community.


How to Develop Empathetic Wisdom As a Superpower

Pooja Mehta's superpower is "Empathetic Wisdom." This combination of traits embodies her ability to understand others deeply and offer insightful, experience-based guidance.

In our discussion, Pooja shared how her diverse experiences across different sectors and the lessons learned from her mistakes have equipped her with a unique perspective. She emphasized the value of embracing one's errors as learning opportunities and being transparent about them. This openness, coupled with her legal expertise and personal experiences, allows her to ask the right questions, helping entrepreneurs to strategize effectively and make informed decisions amidst the myriad choices they face daily.

An anecdote that exemplifies Pooja's superpower involves resolving cultural conflicts among employees in her restaurant business. She approached the situation with empathy, understanding each person's perspective, and emphasized the shared vision despite personal differences. This story illustrates how her superpower of empathetic wisdom enables her to navigate complex interpersonal dynamics and foster a harmonious working environment.

To develop a superpower like Pooja's, consider these tips:

1. Be clear on your values: Understanding your core beliefs can guide your decisions and actions.

2. Embrace openness and curiosity: Remain open to new experiences and actively seek to learn from others, even in unexpected situations.

3. Learn from mistakes: View failures as opportunities for growth and be willing to share these experiences to help others.

4. Practice empathy: Try to understand others' perspectives and backgrounds, especially in challenging situations.

As the host of Superpowers for Good, I'm continually inspired by guests like Pooja, who not only possess remarkable abilities but also a willingness to use them for the greater good. Her story is a powerful reminder that the path to wisdom often involves embracing our vulnerabilities and remaining open to the lessons life teaches us.

By following Pooja’s example and advice, you can make empathetic wisdom a personal strength. With practice, it could become a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Remember, however, that research into success suggests that building on your own superpowers is more important than creating new ones or overcoming weaknesses. You do you!

Guest Profile

Pooja Mehta (she/her):

Founder, The Marigold Effect; Vice-President/Co-Owner, AMPM Enterprises, The Marigold Effect & AMPM Enterprises (family business)

About The Marigold Effect & AMPM Enterprises (family business): 

Our inspiration stems from the marigold, a companion flower known for its ability to enhance the growth of neighboring plants.

The Marigold Effect was established with a clear purpose: to promote justice, diversity, and equity in the investment and business spheres. We support underrepresented identities, including race, gender, ability, ethnicity, and more.

We use the tools of legal advising, business consulting, and impact investing to help social justice-focused organizations grow and achieve their goals.


X/Twitter Handle: @marigoldeffect

Biographical Information: 

Pooja is a lawyer, entrepreneur, investor, photographer, and advisor to non-profits & small businesses.
Drawing on her experiences as the daughter of immigrants who successfully started a business, as well as her own entrepreneurial endeavors, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with social justice leaders, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs.
From the age of 13, she began working behind the counter at her father's suburban Minneapolis Burger King, which he had purchased after working for the Whopper franchisor for a decade. The family business steadily grew and she's kept at least one foot in it while developing her own career.
Pooja has worked as an investment banking analyst, represented children and families involved with the child welfare system, facilitated entrepreneurship and financial management cohorts for business leaders, and served as a special advisor to a fast-paced workforce development nonprofit.
As a business owner herself, she has successfully built and operated full service and fast casual restaurants, started a photography business, and bought and sold several businesses.
Currently, Pooja serves as the vice president and co-owner of AMPM Enterprises, her family's business in the restaurant and commercial real estate industries. In addition, she mentors cooperative entrepreneurs, advises nonprofit leaders and business owners at a pro bono legal clinic, and serves as a board member of a nonprofit advocating for change to the juvenile legal system.

X/Twitter Handle: @pmdijo


Upcoming SuperCrowd Event Calendar

If a location is not noted, the events below are virtual.

  • SuperCrowdBaltimore, March 21, 2024: This in-person event at the B&O Rail Museum features some of Baltimore’s prominent citizens and community leaders. Use the discount code “SuperCrowd” to save 30 percent!

  • Impact Cherub Club Meeting hosted by The Super Crowd, Inc., a public benefit corporation, on March 26, 2024, at 1:00 PM Eastern. Each month, the Club meets to review new offerings for investment consideration and to conduct due diligence on previously screened deals. Everyone is welcome to join the free events.

  • SuperCrowdHour, March 27, 2024 at 1:00 Eastern. Devin Thorpe will explain the three surprising reasons impact investors should seek to make money from impact investing.

  • Superpowers for Good - Kinect Capital Live Pitch, March 28 at 9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific: Four companies currently raising via crowdfunding will pitch their offerings live via the Superpowers for Good streaming television show on e360tv. Kinect Capital will host the pitch.

  • SuperCrowd24, April 17-18: This two-day virtual event is our biggest of the year. Don’t miss it. Use the discount code “SuperCrowd” to save 50 percent.

  • SuperCrowdChicago, June 12, 2024. Save the date! More information is coming soon!

  • Recently, we created an AI GPT to help you learn more about The Super Crowd, Inc., a public benefit corporation, and our upcoming events. Click here to try it.

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Superpowers for Good
Superpowers for Good: Empowering Changemakers for Social Impact via Regulated Investment Crowdfunding from the SuperCrowd.
We host changemakers who are using regulated investment crowdfunding for social impact--impact crowdfunding--as impact investors or social entrepreneurs, catalyzing change with leadership skills we call superpowers.