In this first cohort are a variety of food related entrepreneurs, a photographer, a handyman service, and a transportation company. The group totals 10 participants each with an abundance of experience and a strong desire to see their ventures operating this calendar year.
Thermon Sisco - Sisco Catering
Micheal Stephens - Big Red's Repair
Chauncy Wynn - The Pit Stop
Mia Hopkins - Natural Vegan Soul
Ty Naomi - The Imagery Specialist
Talicia Campbell - Taste of Culture
Mr. & Mrs. Eric Lawson - Dean’s Sweets & Things
Christopher Young - Antoine's Burgers
Noah Patterson - Home Repair Services
Mark Samson - Hughes Trucking Company
The second cohort is quite diverse, check out these fabulous participants:
William Cook - Cooks Auto Repair, LLC
Alina Trionne Oliver - SheDope, LLC
Clarence J Caldwell II - K & J Enterprise, LLC
Tracey Coolin - Extended Family Care, LLC
Doritt Madison - Big Moma Cleaning, LLC
Mark Baldwin - UFO Village, LLC
Treyon Box - Siruis Renovations, LLC
Jetty D. Walker - State Board Reboot
Early Collins - Sweet Memories
Michael Carpenter - Unique Images, LLC
Kala Wilburn - Fannie Lucille
Tanesha Pittman - Simply Shea, LLC
Moteez Wilson - My Care, LLC
Each cohort allows up to 15 candidates to participate in an accelerated, hands-on training program where participants work one-on-one with a business advisor while attending an eight week training program. In this program, the participants practice market readiness real-time during Pop-ups and business development workshops. Unlike the typical business training program, we offer marketing, accounting and legal support.
For those awarded an opportunity to participate in the Small Business Initiative we have a few expectations! The participant will need to identify a community partner where their product(s) can be readily available to the market. As an example, Joy Tabernacle hosted our first cohort, and the Hispanic Institute of Technology graciously accepted the community partner role for the second cohort. Community partners play a very important role; their active traction will allow the participants to meet and engage their market with Pop-Up engagements.
During the training, each participant will be provided project capital to work through inventory and rental equipment needs.
Upon successful completion of this program, the candidates seeking funding will have access to the micro-lending fund operated by the City of Flint.
Week 1 & 2: The Business Model Canvas - the participants will chart and clarify their key stakeholders, vendors, support networks, facilities, buying privileges, distribution, and customer relationship strategy.
Mid-Week Engagement: The participant should participate with a community partner, one identified with a robust outreach mechanism where your products or services can be featured and easily promoted.
Week 3: Customer Service and Salesmanship- the participants will discuss and demonstrate their wares with the intent to document their engagement strategy. The intent is to measure impact and customer feedback. Operations- the participant will chart daily activities, assign tasks, show their inventory controls, marketing strategies and frequencies, as well their accounting methods.
Mid-Week Check In: Participants meet with their trainer to review plan progress and flow.
Week 4: Identifying Capital Needs – each participant will have an opportunity to illustrate what they’ve discovered as needed resources and funding to move their ventures to the next level. Complete market analysis from SBDC and SBA free resources. We introduce the financial controls.
Week 5: Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy – the participants will show and tell what methods they currently use to promote their businesses. We will use this opportunity to incorporate external sources to assist with the marketing strategy.
Off Week: Pop-up Engagement: The participants will have an opportunity to show case and demonstrate their wares during a structured and heavily marketed event.
Week 6: Financial Controls – the pro forma documents will be completed based on the sales strategy and discovery of the start-up funding needs identified during the business modeling process. Identifying start-up cost; the participants will complete micro lending applications for potential funding outlined by the City of Flint.
Week 7: Management and Operations – the participants are introduced to their daily activity logs and techniques to manage day to day operations. Marketing 101 – how to reach your customer tactics and strategies.
Week 8: Plan completion, review, and presentation – those who have demonstrated their fit and compliance will be allowed an opportunity to present their business model to the City of Flint for funding and other supports.
Laura holds an MBA in Business Administration with special concentration on her under graduate degree in Management and Organization Development.
Mrs. Sigmon launched in 2008, Best Practices Consulting Services, LLC (BPCS) a consulting firm designed to partner with small businesses seeking direction in capacity building, business planning, business development, marketing, and government contracting.
BPCS has a founding principle of working to expand market share and sustainable profitability for local small businesses.
She is an Adjunct Professor at Mott Community College, in Flint, Michigan where she teaches Small Business Management, Principles of Management, Strategic Marketing, Business Leadership, Organizational Development and Introduction to Business.
Laura Sigmon trains small businesses through economic development programs in the city of Detroit , Inkster, and Flint, MI. She’s also a Business and Marketing consultant for ProsperUS Detroit, Motor City Match, SWOT City Detroit, Michigan Women’s Foundation and Prevention Network.
She was awarded one of the 2017 “Most Influential African American Women in Metropolitan Detroit.”