Recent News & Blog

Posted on April 16th, 2019 in Events, Speaking Engagements Tags: ,

Dozens of students at Arsenal Tech High School who have an interest in starting their own business gathered in the historic courtroom on campus to listen to panelists from a variety of backgrounds talk about their experiences with entrepreneurship. This is because being an entrepreneur is more about having a certain skill set and mindset than anything – and that skill set can be helpful whether it results in founding a business or pursuing a more traditional career.

After a presentation from Kathy England of Regions Bank about the importance of understanding the realities of how financials play a role in starting a business, Joseph Eldridge of 100 Black Men Indianapolis moderated the panel, along with questions from students. Below are some highlights from the panelists:

Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt – Founder, Apprenace

“Often, people are searching for how to get to the top when the solution is right next to us. When I found something that I do well, I wanted to see how to turn it into a business – but just because you do something well, does not always mean customers are ready for it. The first thing you need is customers, if you don’t want to fail. Once I had enough people saying ‘yes, I would like to try this,’ then I used their feedback to create my initial product offerings. We did a lot to understand businesses and what their concerns and doubts are so that we are offering something specific rather than ambiguous.”

Melita Carter

Melita Carter – Founder & CEO, Natural Born Leaders Academy

“As you are building your business, you don’t have to be good at every aspect of your business, but you have to know a little bit about everything to make sure other people you hire do their job well… As long as you know a little about a lot, to hire the right people, you can be successful. And that comes from reading and reading and researching and researching.”

NaShana Mitchell

NaShana Mitchell – Founder, Studio B; Co-founder, Design Bank

“You need to ask yourself why, what, who, where? Why am I committed? What am I offering? Who is my customer that will use this? And where do the transactions take place? Is it a building or online? And as you figure that out, it always circles back to ‘why,’ and you go from there. I had a business where once we made a $10,000 mistake – so after that we asked lots of questions and learned from it to make the right decision next time.”

Aundre G. Hogue

Aundre G. hogue – Regional Vice President, PFS Investments

“You don’t have to be good at everything, but your business does. To go to the next level, it is more of a mindset – too many  people never get off the ground because they are scared to fail. I don’t know anyone who is successful who hasn’t failed first. You need to fail forward, and keep moving.”

Dani Williams

Dani Williams – Entrepreneur, Creative Leader, Social Media Strategist

“When I decided to become a special media strategist, it is because I found a need… Some people have wants, and some have needs – I have been most successful when I find a need and try to fill it. I am also a big believer in collaboration over competition, so I find ways for entrepreneurs to raise each other up through business.”

“Thank you for doing this. No one has ever done something like this for us.”
– Arsenal Tech student after the event

For more about the panelists, view the program from the event.


Posted on March 15th, 2019 in Events Tags: ,

Spring is upon us, and as summer gets closer, young adults are starting to think about summer jobs and other opportunities for growth. On March 11, Congressman André Carson hosted his sixth annual Youth Opportunities Fair at the Central Library to help Indianapolis youth find these job, learning, and volunteer opportunities, with over 75 organizations attending. Young adults also participated in sessions designed to help them with interviewing skills and resume review.

Amanda Finch from the YMCA explained how volunteering can help youth get their “foot in the door.” Skills learned at a volunteering position or job with the YMCA can transfer into real life situations.  “One of our most popular positions is lifeguarding. We teach them so many valuable life skills and safety skills that can branch out beyond what they do in their role at the Y – they could save somebody’s life.”

Many jobs, including those at YMCA, Indy Parks, FedEx, Kroger, and more, are filled by connections made through Project Indy, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s youth jobs program. EmployIndy staff were on-site helping young adults sign up and download the Project Indy app to get them started.

Representatives from Indy Parks and Kroger emphasized the variety of opportunities available to youth as they work their way up from entry-level positions. “A lot of the people in our positions started as 16 year old lifeguards and cashiers and worked their way up, so getting a job at Indy Parks could be a career move,” said Will Hollowell from Rhodius Park. “The best skill I’ve found is just people who want to work. Being excited about work is a key attribute that many teens possess.”

Matt Mueller landed his first job bagging groceries at Kroger twenty-four years ago, and has found various opportunities to continue his career there since. “People think that sometimes working for Kroger is just bagging groceries or stocking milk or whatever it may be, but it’s so much more than that. You can work in Human Resources and Marketing and Transportation and Logistics – any career you could ever want, you could do that under the Kroger umbrella – starting from the single utility clerk job bagging groceries,” he explained.

As hundreds of young adults browsed the aisles, most were able to walk away with a lead or an idea of where to aim next. Not everyone will find their dream summer job – but exposure to these opportunities available is important as they continue to learn and think about a future job, education, or career.

Andre Allen from FedEx Ground offered a bit of succinct advice: “Stay persistent – we’re always looking for new talent.”

 


Posted on March 8th, 2019 in Events, Speaking Engagements Tags:

A group of young adults learned about the realities of “being your own boss” at an entrepreneur panel at the Pivot Re-engagement Center at the Finish Line Boys & Girls Club on the Far Eastside of Indianapolis. Check out the highlight video to see some of the top takeaways, and click on the image below the video to view the program and learn more about the panelists.

Click to view the event program and learn more about the panelists