On September 7th, 2011, during his address to a joint session of congress, President Obama’s message was loud and clear: small business is the Unites States of America’s most powerful engine of opportunity and economic growth. A few weeks ago, I attended the White House Urban Entrepreneurship Summit. There were over 200 students of NYC schools, 200 members of the business community. There were also 50 members of the funding and social investments communities and 50 members of Local, State and Federal government agencies. There was a lot of information and resources available for small business owners and those interested in developing small businesses. The summit highlighted new small business leaders, developmental support, potential partners, funding and upcoming government initiatives. Navigating this plethora of the above can be an overwhelming process for someone looking to be an entrepreneur.
Starting a Small Business
What does it take to become and maintain entrepreneurship? In a nutshell, risk-taking, strategic planning, an innovator, the ability to be a primary investor and provider of product(s) or service(s) that create revenue ($). Flexibility is a key trait as the landscape is ever changing. An entrepreneur has to be able to see a goal or project through the trails and errors that will surely occur. Entrepreneurship is not sole proprietorship so is important to develop the relationships needed to sustain business and collaborate, partner with and hire people to reach goals.
Interested in being an entrepreneur? Already an entrepreneur and ready to go to the next level? Now is the time to take advantage of the support and opportunities available for entrepreneurs. Below are just a few resources that offer free (basic level some charge for advanced) support for beginning and advanced entrepreneurs in the U.S.
White House Small Business Jobs Act About a year ago, President Obama signed this act into law making it easier to create and sustain a small business that creates job opportunities. To review the current Jobs Act proposed to congress clickhere
Small Business Administration (SBA) SBA offers a variety of programs and support services to help you navigate the issues you face with your initial applications, and resources to help after you open for business.
Startup American Partnership Their mission is to bring together a coalition of mentors, advisors, funders, major corporations and service providers to deliver strategic and substantive resources to help entrepreneurs start and scale companies.
Minority Business development Agency (MBDA) MBDA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce is an entrepreneurially focused organization committed to wealth creation in minority communities. The Agency’s mission is to actively promote the growth and competitiveness of large, medium and small minority business enterprises (MBEs).
100 Urban Entrepreneurs Their goal is to identify, finance and mentor 100 Urban Entrepreneurs from economically disadvantaged communities within 12 months. This is often done through live business-pitch events in cities across the United States — in order to highlight the urban community’s untapped business potential and demonstrate, to an additional 1 million–plus entrepreneurs, a proven path forward to business and financial success
Grants.gov was established as a governmental resource named the E-Grants Initiative. It is part of the President’s 2002 Fiscal Year Management Agenda to improve government services to the public. A great resource for Community Based Organizations CBO grants for U. S. initiatives such as healthy eating, fighting substance abuse, technology, after school programs, etc.
Minority Angel Investment Network a network of accredited investors with an interest and commitment to invest in high growth, minority owned or minority-led companies. Minority Angel Investor Network is not a fund. It is a group of individual investors each of whom makes his or her own decision regarding investment in a specific opportunity.
Garmeen America wants to create a market where any individual with a dream can receive affordable financial products regardless of income, previous credit history, education, or business experience. They envision a world where burgeoning entrepreneurs are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty through hard work and determination to forge better lives for their families and future generations.
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) With 13,000 mentors across 500 industries, SCORE is America’s (USA) premiere source for confidential business advice for small business entrepreneurs.
Future Executives, Inc. is a virtual resource center for 8-25-year-olds to explore, cultivate and hone entrepreneur behaviors and personal development using a multi-media platform. The organization partners, collaborates, develops workshops, lesson plans and symposiums to support the process. FE is creating a continual cycle of children and young adults utilizing our network and resources to achieve their dreams and helping support others to do the same.*SMWahls is the founder and CEO of Future Executives, Inc. Currently, she working on a entrepreneurs guide to success in the U.S.