Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elana Frank, Owner of Jewish Fertility Foundation, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Jewish Fertility Foundation's (JFF) mission is to provide financial assistance, educational awareness, and emotional support to people who have medical fertility issues (regardless of religious background).

As of 07/01/22, JFF had funded 125 fertility grants, 94 babies born to those receiving JFF support, with 49 more on the way. In addition, 1000 community leaders and fertility clinic staff have been trained, 200+ individuals work as Fertility Buddies, and 600 clients have been helped through monthly support.

Tell us about yourself

I am Elana Frank, an Atlanta native and current resident where I live with my husband and three young sons. I created the Jewish Fertility Foundation (JFF) as a result of my years of infertility and the fact that when I was a resident of Israel, their socialized medicine afforded me the opportunity to receive treatment and conceive my sons inexpensively.

When I returned to the states, I realized that others weren't as lucky as I- in terms of treatment success, community support, and financial aid. I learned from others that it takes years, miscarriages, unbearable debt, oceans of tears, and heartache before finally giving birth, if at all. And with the cost of IVF ranging on average from $14,000 - $25,000 in Atlanta, many cannot afford the treatment at all.

Knowing there was this grave need for funding, support, and enhanced awareness of this sometimes "unspoken" issue in the Jewish community, I decided to create JFF. JFF currently began in Atlanta in 2015 and has now scaled to 5 other cities nationwide.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I pride myself on having built a team of professionals, developing an awesome culture, and providing professional development to my staff. The Jewish Fertility Foundation is a Jewish nonprofit that I want to work for.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

For me, it is not only about growing a business from nothing, but it's about raising the topic of infertility within the Jewish community. If we can't make a claim for Social Change, larger Foundations won't support us, so that's my mission. JFF helps provide Health Equity and Access through Education and Funding.

The Jewish community embraces and celebrates families, but the journey to create those families can be fraught. Because family is so central to Jewish life, many individuals and couples experience tremendous stress and pressure when the path to parenthood is not so simple. Infertility remains taboo, something that, in many communities, is not talked about or openly acknowledged.

When people who are dealing with infertility experience the Jewish community as steeped in pressure and cloaked in shame, the community can become something to avoid, a point of stress and anxiety, and not a refuge or place for connection and support. JFF is changing the conversation – helping those who need extra support on the road to parenthood while nurturing much-needed culture change on the issue of infertility.

Through educational programming, JFF initiates a Jewish communal conversation about infertility, fighting misinformation and stigmas to ensure that the community can be a welcoming, nurturing space for those struggling to build their families.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find a professional coach you trust!
  2. Spent time (and money) investing in your staff's professional growth.
  3. Lead with confidence and kindness.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Elana is the podcast host of Fruitful & Multiplying. The goal of the podcast is to reduce the stigma associated with infertility and to educate the infertile community about the prevalence of infertility, the different pathways to parenthood, the treatments available to those experiencing infertility, the costs associated with those treatments (and how to pay!), and how to support your loved ones experiencing infertility.

Where can people find you and your business?

LinkedIn: Spotify:

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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