At The Biz Foundry, we are dedicated to helping startups and entrepreneurs. One way we do that is by connecting entrepreneurs with others. The best advice comes from those who have travelled the same road. Jeff Brown, President of The Biz Foundry, noticed the Upper Cumberland needed an entrepreneur group for women.
He contacted local business owners Alane Boyd, owner of Two Heartbeats Maternity and part owner of GoFanbase, and Kristi Nixon, owner of Express Employment. He knew if anyone could start and lead something like this, it was these two. Neither had met prior to their initial meeting, but they instantly found things in common.
"Our first meeting was just trying to wrap our heads around what we would want out of having a women's entrepreneur group. After brainstorming ideas and going around in circles, we realized we just needed to first get the other local women business owners together," states Boyd. "After that, we could figure the rest out. Our most important goal was to be able to have women we could relate to, that were going through or had gone through similar experiences."
Soon after the initial meeting, Brown, Boyd and Nixon decided on the name Starter Chicks for the group. "We thought it was a little edgy and fun, like us, but still told our story as a woman entrepreneur," says Nixon.
Starter Chicks held their first meeting on Tuesday, July 26th at Poets South in Cookeville. The ladies told their stories, discussed business challenges they are currently facing, and most importantly, laughed and had fun. Starter Chicks will be having a monthly get together. The next meeting is set for August 23rd, and the location will be announced soon.
You know what happens when you put women entrepreneurs together? They come up with new businesses to start. Cookeville, get ready!
If you know a woman that owns her own business, let them know about Starter Chicks! For more information, contact Alane Boyd.
by Rosemary Fields
What makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur? Is it the company they started, their mindset or a combination of the two? While everyone is different, most entrepreneurs tend to think alike and possess some of the same characteristics.
1. Creative and innovative: Entrepreneurs tend to seek out new opportunities and problems to solve. It’s all about being resourceful and understanding what they are passionate about.
2. Accepting risk as a factor: Entrepreneurs understand there is an element of risk in most decisions. They assess the pros and cons and become comfortable with making choices. Hard decisions and new challenges are not things they shy away from.
3. Committing to hard work: Entrepreneurs know they must invest time and resources in order to achieve their goals. The normal 9:00-5:00 work day is not expected. They believe their investment will eventually pay off.
4. Self-motivated: Entrepreneurs are self-starters and motivated to reach goals. They are more likely to meet a challenge head-on rather than delay. They have taken the time to clearly define what it is they want to do and have decided it is worth pursuing.
5. Accepting of change. Smart entrepreneurs constantly evolve. Tweaking their business concepts based on market feedback is necessary and they’re not hindered by changing their products.
Do you have the entrepreneurial mindset?
by Thiago Rezende
In a capitalist world where everything revolves around money, the concept of a nonprofit organization may seem strange or just plain extraterrestrial. We’ve heard about these organizations many times, and let’s be honest, most of us still don’t fully understand what they do and how they work. It’s like that super cool new toy everybody talks about but only a few have had the chance to see or play with it and understand what it is.
Nonprofits are involved in many initiatives other than charity, human rights, environmental issues, animal rights, or others. We tend to restrict the definition of the nonprofit organization’s nature. By doing so, other areas that nonprofits are dedicated to go completely unnoticed. The area of business is an example that is commonly overlooked. How can a nonprofit organization be involved with and dedicated to helping businesses if it’s an organization that does not seek profit by default? Can these two opposites coexist? Is it even possible?!
Entrepreneur centers are the answer to these questions and the place where this coexistence exists. The core purpose of the entrepreneur center is to help people achieve their goal of starting their own business. And guess what - most of the services are typically free of charge!
Now you’re probably thinking “Oh ok, that’s pretty cool, but did you say FREE? Why would someone provide services like that at no cost? What’s the catch?”
And that’s ok; it’s a question people ask frequently. We are a society that is accustomed to being charged for everything. When we are offered help and assistance at no cost, we are skeptical and red flags go up. However, the good news is, there is no catch!
The design of the nonprofit is carefully structured to raise funds to sustain the cost of its existence in order to provide free services to the community. Nonprofits don’t offer free services as bait so they can charge you later. The goal is to help people; it’s as simple as that. Entrepreneur centers are no different from any other nonprofit organization.
Let’s look at a few key points on how a nonprofit Entrepreneur Center works:
You may be surprised to learn there are many entrepreneur centers located all over the country. It’s important for people to know services of this nature are available in their communities and to spread the word. There are people with great business ideas but they may have no clue how or where to start. You may even be one of them!
As more people become aware of nonprofits and educate themselves on how these organizations work, the misconceptions that foster taboos will make way for interest and excitement, both for making use of these services and for referring others. The potential creation of new businesses and new jobs can help grow the local economy and strengthen the community. The community, in turn, continues to contribute to the nonprofit in order to further the local economic growth. In the end, everybody wins.