You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ category.

Minding Our Business: Celebrating Middle School Entrepreneurship!

By: ellis j. still

Young people are the cornerstone of our future. Minding Our Business (MOB) is an outstanding example of actively reinforcing that sentiment by partnering with middle schools to provide young people with real life experience of what it is like to be an entrepreneur.

For the past 15 years, Minding Our Business (MOB) has been challenging middle school students not only come up with business ideas, but to create a balanced budget in terms of what it would take to run a business, apply for and present their business to judges, and upon approval of the budget, get funding to launch & run their business on Market Fair Day (outcome presentations are attached at the end of this blog post).

I had the opportunity to volunteer as a panel judge for the kids’ funding presentations. They were teams of kids (each team represented a business) who as individuals had separate roles such as a president/ceo that was responsible for the vision & mission of their company, and various vice presidents that included marketing, finance, operations, project management, and sales. They presented to the judges their idea, target market, how the business would run, budget and proposed funding requirements. Judges then had to assess the presentation and decide if the requested funding was warranted.

The presentations were quite awesome, not what you would expect from middle school students. The kids were well versed in their subject areas and it was evident that they rehearsed their presentations at length.

SUCCESS STORIES

In addition to the program mentioned above, MOB also has advanced and summer programs for those who wish to continue the entrepreneurship track beyond the initial program. Here are some success stories as a result of MOB’s programs:

  • Trevon Molder (MOB 2006), age 17 and CEO of Tick’s Toys started his toy business six years ago and still runs it successfully. Trevon is a senior student at the Trenton Central High School. He plans to go to college and study biochemistry.
  • Pula Jusu (MOB 2003) Took over father’s B & B Home Movie Productions. She is planning to start a business with her two other sisters selling clothing. Pula is very close to finish a master degree in business.
  • Tanaya Butler (MOB 1997) Helped her dad create a cleaning business from the ground up using all the know how acquired through MOB. Swans Brothers Cleaning is a successful business. Tanaya is planning now to open a beauty salon. She’s studying to become a register nurse.
  • Qaysean Williams (MOB 2003), who is a fashion designer and CEO of Mannequin, a fashion design business that recently displayed its garments at the Sun National Bank Arena Fashion Show.
  • Shawntae DeVlugt (MOB 1998) She owns a cake business.
  • Tamar Levy (MOB 1998) He is the owner of a small accounting firm.
  • Abberin Hoagland (MOB 2003) Non-profit summer arts program. “Both Hands” and she is teaching film.
  • Bryan Lane (MOB 2001) He owns a barbershop.
  • Kimyatta Perry – She owns a Hair Salon
  • Jonathan Knight (MOB 1998) He owns an E-Commerce business involving drop shipping.
  • Albert Matlock (MOB 2004) Mentoring Program called the Elite Club, He also sells clothes to fund it. He wanted to help inner-city youth and to fuel his passion for clothing.
  • Eric Hallet (MOB 2001) He owns Outdoor Flicks – A business renting out inflatable 30 ft. movie screens.
  • Jamar L. Robinson (MOB 2001) He owns two businesses. One is called Project DBR (Dreams Becoming Reality) an internet blog for promoting and discussing all types of artists and musicians. The other business is called “Life Crooks” selling clothes and graphic Ts.
  • Kyle Barrett (MOB 1999) He owns a Take-out out of home restaurant.

MOB students talk about their experiences… (video will open in new window)

MOB is a unique program that allows kids to learn and make long term career choices through real life activity. The program’s track record of success is a role model for others looking to make a difference in urban communities.

Below are attached PDF outcome presentations for MOB’s programs, which can also be downloaded directly from MOB’s website (right-click to open in a new tab or window):

MOB’s success is opening doors for it to expand well beyond the confines of Rider University and Trenton, NJ, and into being an independent 501(c)(3). If you would like to take part in this expansion and meet its founders and some of the success stories in person, MOB is hosting its annual “Bridge to the Future” fundraiser in Lawrence, NJ. If you cannot make it in person, or of you  wish to contact them, Dr. Hernandez can be reached at 609-895-5509 or email: hernandez@rider.edu

Question: How would your life be different if you had been exposed to entrepreneurship at an early age?

© 2012, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

__________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification
Advertisements

Building Communities: NJ Social Entrepreneurship Summit 2011

By: ellis j. still

“Whether you start as one or end up as one, you must become a social entrepreneur before you can be a great entrepreneur.”

                 Alfred Edmond Jr., Editor-at-Large, Black Enterprise Magazine

So, let’s say that you are an entrepreneur. You have a really cool idea that you think can make some money. Business 101 dictates that supply meets demand. However, what if the true calling in your heart is to be able to provide the supply with the goal of helping people? What if you created a needs-based venture in the community (for-profit or non-profit) that builds relationships, provides jobs, and builds human capital?

These are the sort of conversations that occurred on yesterday at the 2011 New Jersey Social Entrepreneurship Summit. The summit created dialog among entrepreneurs interested in social entrepreneurship from both a traditional and non-profit point of view. There were case studies, conversations, panel discussions, and networking opportunities among established social entrepreneurs, funders & investors, start-up entrepreneurs, and others interested in making an investment in the human capital in their community.

Social entrepreneurship is described by organizers as a form of entrepreneurship that integrates social goals and social or environmental problem solving into its core business model. The purpose of this summit is to raise the profile of social entrepreneurship in New Jersey by bringing leaders of the social sector and entrepreneurs who address social and environmental problems in their businesses together to learn from and support one another.

After the lunch break, Dr. Jeffrey Robinson announced the creation of the ”NJ Social Innovation Institute  – ‘Creating Jobs Through Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship'”. This new collaborative effort will focus on connecting social entrepreneurs to the resources needed to execute their social idea successfully and in a sustainable way. The NJ Social Innovation Institute is designed to help nascent social entrepreneurs to develop their venture ideas into business plans and investment proposals. The initiative is six (6) months in duration and is provided in partnership with the Support Center for Nonprofit. For more information about the institute, click here.

The event was extremely interactive via social media as well. You can catch up with the conversation on Twitter using hash tag #NJSocEnt. These are just a few of the Twitter comments:

@CNicholaC: More and more people (are) realizing that business profits and social contributions are not mutually exclusive. #NJSocEnt

@websignia: “We’re not looking for reimbursement, we’re looking for concrete outcomes in our designated communities” -S. Hamilton of @PSEGCares  #NJSocEnt

@ellis_still: Craig Cuccia: “the question became how do we connect with the people who aren’t ready and give them the resources that they need?” #NJSocEnt

@RutgersBSchool: “Its all about how you can use entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social change.” – Professor @jrobinsonphd on stage #NJSocEnt #SocEnt

@ellis_still: Cheryl Dorsey: people tend to confuse being a founder with being a success. #NJSocEnt #newark

@dtogilvie: Vaughn McCoy @pseg spoke about Profits w/a Purpose @ the Social Entrepreneurship Summit in Newark, NJ #Njsocent

To learn more about the summit, or the NJ Social Innovation Institute , feel free to visit http://www.njsesummit.org/. Don’t forget to join their mailing list for periodic announcements and information.

To view more pictures of the summit, click here to go to my facebook page.

Question: How are you utilizing your gifts and ideas to make your community better?

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

____________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

See The Entire Board

By ellis j. still

cc7 to d8. b5 to xe4. Xc8+. Checkmate.

Chess is a game of strategy… a thinking game that involves a number of theories, combinations, and variations.

Whether or not if you’re an entrepreneur, a book author, have direct reports in an office setting, or hold influence or responsibility of any capacity in any area of your life, your interactions are like a game of chess. The game’s strategies and movements include the sum of individual efforts that work within their responsibilities for the greater good of the team… towards the end game. As the game player, (leader) you cannot expect to just operate within the confines of a minimal area of concern and expect huge results. You must see things on a much bigger playing field and make decisions with intention.  The following are three areas from which to play the game: 

  1. Know the capabilities of your direct reports, or the people around you. In chess, each chess piece, by rule, has a specific purpose and movement that it executes, and as the chess player, it is your goal to use these movements to fill the need for the greater good of the game. In leadership, your people will have strengths and weaknesses. It is in seeing and utilizing the strengths of your people that you position your personnel for the advancement of your company. Moreover, it is also in recognizing and exposing the strengths that are hidden within their weaknesses not only for the greater good, but for your personnel’s personal development as well, which are inter-related. 
  2. See the entire board. Leaders and business owners put together strategic plans for the future based on a set of variables that often remain static. Chess is a game that has many variables of change. Although a good chess player can technically win a game within a few moves, he doesn’t do it by thinking in a linear fashion. He does it by seeing the entire board. The big picture. If he micromanages his pawns, his knights, or his king for that matter, he would lose because he had no idea what the other pieces were doing. Pay attention to your competition. Pay attention to your competition’s promotional campaigns. Pay attention to their high level decision making. Pay attention to your industry. In today’s age of the internet and many forms of communication, being a small business owner is no excuse. It’s just one-on-one chess… you and them. 
  3. The game requires vision. A good chess player can win a game in only a few moves, although the game actually takes many moves. He or she can anticipate, or visualize, what the end-game will be. Vision in this sense of the word is a mental picture based on assumptions and strategies. This also applies to living out one’s dream… the idea or mental picture of a desire in your heart. It isn’t enough to dream – you have to come up with a plan of action… a strategy. This can be the hardest part, but once you start by researching your ideas, the momentum picks up and at that point, it is almost impossible to stop. Once you get the ball rolling your dream will take on a life of its own.  

With practice and patience, anyone can become good at chess, and good at leadership. The game of chess has a rich history, and is often thought of as being a metaphor for life and for leadership. Learning how to play chess can be researched online and in your local library. There is a blog that I also subscribe to that has been helpful to me in learning the game: http://www.mychessblog.com/ .

 Question: What is your end game? Are you seeing the entire board, or are you micro-managing to a slow but certain losing battle?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

____________________________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

Over the past few months I have been inquiries about how an aspiring or independent author goes about getting published? This informative blog post by Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner provides some insights as to how publishers think…

How Do Agents & Publishers Make Decisions?

By: Rachelle Gardner

“I was talking with our intern Sarah the other day (hi Sarah!) and she had some questions about a couple of my recent posts. In It’s About What’s Selling I explained that publishers tend to make future decisions based on what has sold well for them in the past. Yet in Don’t Ask Me About Trends I said that while I pay attention to what’s selling, I also take trends with a grain of salt.

So Sarah’s question was: Which is it? How do you make decisions?

Once and for all, I’ll try to explain this.

Years ago, a famous screenwriter named William Goldman coined a phrase that came to be an oft-repeated mantra in Hollywood: Nobody knows anything.

By this, he meant that we can’t predict the future. So when a studio plunks down millions of dollars to make a movie, or a publisher shells out thousands to produce a book, there is no guarantee that it will sell. This has always been true, and it will always be true.

Still, we have various tools at our disposal that help us make decisions about what kinds of books to publish (or what kind of movies/TV shows to produce)….”

To continue reading, see: http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-do-agents-publishers-make-decisions.html

Question: How are you using this information to better position yourself? 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

____________________________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

Where’d he go???

by: ellis j. still 

I know I have not been blogging as much lately, but much of my time has been focused on working with Kimla from KYB Productions (http://kybproductions.com/ ) to get the online version of The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore (TBB) up and running.  

One of my personal favorite scriptures is:

“It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone”. Ephesians 1:11-12

With that in mind, I am excited about what is going to be a unique assemblage of Christian books, bibles, gifts and clothing that will grow, inspire, entertain, and support one’s Christian lifestyle and purpose at prices that are comparable with, or better than market prices. Along with our overall resource categories, we also pay close attention to initiatives that are close to our heart, which include breast cancer awareness, entrepreneurship & leadership resources, and we feature a vast and ever growing assemblage of Urban Christian Fiction titles in addition to staying up to date with the top 50 titles. We also have an assortment of Christian gifts for the home, dorm, and many other occasions, and designer t-shits apparel for men and women (includes baby-doll) just in time for summer. TBB as a company is not just a Christian website, but a movement in Christ that actively engages in supporting and partnering with like-minded events and initiatives, such as the Newark School of Theology, 2010 Faith and Fiction Retreat, and a number or other resources and ministries which cannot be named as of yet until things are more finalized. Stay tuned for more details on the website re-launch in the next few weeks, upon which when you become a free member, you get bonus rewards points that can be used towards any of TBB’s resources.

In the meantime, I really miss writing, so I plan on being back on my post as blogger for at least one post this week. Thank you, and have a great week!!!

 ellis

Question: What is your favorite bible verse(s)? How do you apply it to your life?

© 2010, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved 

_______________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

 

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 36 other followers

Ellis’s Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.