Leonard Stevens has been an entrepreneur and has owned his individual flooring enterprise for more than 25 many years. When he noticed an possibility to fulfill with other corporations of like head to share strategies and discover other options, he decided to get included with the Stark County Minority Business Association.
Nowadays, he is the CEO of team. The goal is to boost financial progress, work development, diversity and inclusion, and good quality of lifetime for everybody in Stark County by aiding the growth of minority-owned enterprises by means of training, networking and expanding business enterprise chances.
The association is located at 222 Current market Ave. N in downtown Canton. Visit www.starkminoritybusiness.org for additional facts.
1. How and why did the Stark County Minority Small business Association get started off?
The Stark County Minority Business enterprise Association is a 501(C) (3) group comprised of freshly revitalized and focused company leaders, Chamber of Commerce members and others.
We started this corporation as a response to a require for particular, one particular-on-just one support to minority-owned corporations and folks in search of to start off new minority-owned business enterprise.
In the beginning we fashioned the affiliation in 2008 as a grassroots, volunteer firm with close to 11 customers. The organization operated as an informational business intended to educated and advise member organizations on doable bid prospects and help with the procedure. Membership in the group authorized users to occur jointly bi-every month to share facts and brainstorm methods to maximize earnings and greatly enhance business expansion.
When firms appreciated an outlet and the system to share their problems, this was only not adequate to maintain and fortify their enterprise and therefore, the economy. In October 2019, thanks to state Rep. Thomas West, we been given funding from the condition. This allowed the group to go from a volunteer firm to an organization with a paid out personnel of four.
This funding experienced a great influence on our corporation and allowed us to maximize the services and prospects we provided to our users.
The effects that we experienced in assisting our businesses safe contracts and obtain a great deal needed education, authorized our enterprises to employ additional employees which in convert served to increase the regional overall economy. Much more jobs necessarily mean far more staff, far more workers implies extra taxes, and far more taxes means a more robust overall economy. Providing minority enterprises with the training and training wanted to construction their businesses in a way that allowed them to raise earnings, helped them to place their companies for much larger contracts and larger earnings. As our organization continued to mature, the achievements of SCMBA experienced a immediate correlation to the strengthening of minority businesses in Stark County. We know that as minority firms not only survive, but thrive, it strengthens the complete county and point out.
Lastly, the partnership and collaboration that we fashioned with the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the assistance we are presently getting is priceless. This assistance has not only delivered workspace with all of its amenities, but it has also provided us the status in the neighborhood, and the visibility of becoming situated in the chamber downtown. The good results of this pilot program can be a design for Ohio.
What impressed you to get involved with the affiliation?
Even as a successful entrepreneur, I preferred and required information and facts on how to develop and maintain my organization. I wanted to request means to attain entry to capital and raise options to safe contracts. I also needed to surround myself with other enterprises that were possessing achievement in areas that I desired to develop in, to possibly enter into partnership or mentorship relationships.
What are the leading a few positive aspects of turning into a member of the affiliation and why?
As far more minority companies occur jointly, we gain synergy just by listening to what other individuals are carrying out. Usually new or smaller sized corporations will be inspired following a meeting to not drop hope and to look for the information needed by the association.
- Obtain to information and facts on contracts and bids.
- Entry to info and help on procuring certifications.
- Entry to grants, loans and mentorship prospects.
Would you share one or two accomplishment tales?
The affiliation was in a position to collaborate with the Hall of Fame Village to remodel a creating that experienced been purchased by the Hall for offices for the new CEO Mike Crawford. The affiliation partnered with a person of our associates to assist provide as the common contractor for the undertaking. We have been ready to award seven of our users contracts to complete the renovation. This led to other contracts from the Hall on the DoubleTree by Hilton project downtown.
The association commenced a mentorship plan, Boosting Resources For All (Period), where we picked 15 organizations that had been impacted by COVID-19, and gave every single organization a $5,000 grant to guide their small business in the course of the pandemic.
The organizations gained training in places this kind of as business enterprise scheduling, business enterprise administration, advertising and marketing strategy and other people. All 15 businesses had been then matched up with mentoring businesses who experienced demonstrated achievement in their discipline. The protégé and the mentor had been necessary to fulfill two times a month about a four-month period. The association is in the system of picking a further 15 corporations to go by way of the Era software.
Would you give 3 recommendations to consider when commencing a smaller small business currently?
- Locate one thing that you have a enthusiasm for, and you will in no way have to perform a day in your life.
- Locate one thing the place there is a need and then provide a resolution to meet up with that need.
- Establish a business enterprise approach, a functionality assertion, and three years of economic projections. Investigate the market place and know your opposition.