Did you have any “game-changing” resources or tools that helped you start or grow? Why was that resource a game-changer for you?
I was too much in the weeds and not bringing in new talent when we had exponential growth. Now I counsel entrepreneurs to stick with what they’re good at and find resources to do the things they’re trying to learn. In my experience, that’s the biggest obstacle for BIPOC and female entrepreneurs–finding the resources to fill the gaps in their knowledge and expertise.
Thinking about the local entrepreneurial community or ecosystem, what do you believe is working well? What do you think is missing or a gap that needs to be filled?
As Hi Mark Capital, we are trying to provide the resources and tools for BIPOC and female entrepreneurs in the southeast. As far as I’m concerned, the effort is being done well.
Where the community needs work is in the coordination and communication of the resources that are available to those that need it most. I think everything is underutilized because of fragmentation within the community and a scarcity mindset overall. And there is not enough accountability for those that have the means to get the resources to the people that truly need them.
BIPOC and women-owned companies need specific technical assistance when it comes to starting a business. For example, assistance in developing a comprehensive business plan, including market analysis, financial projections, and growth strategies, can help BIPOC and female entrepreneurs lay a strong foundation for their startups. Beyond that, support in creating effective marketing strategies, developing a strong brand identity, and leveraging digital platforms can help entrepreneurs reach their target audience and stand out in competitive markets.
What do you want your company to look like a year from now – from the market, your product or service, your team or people, the culture, or revenue – describe how you would like things to look a year or two from now. What have you put in place – or going to put in place – to make that a reality?
The goal is deeper than next year. The BIPOC and women entrepreneurs across the state need access to capital and resources. The only way to make this happen is to create more BIPOC and women Angel and VC investing professionals. My goal is to help at least twelve more firms launch in the next ten years.