Former finance professional Howard Konishi always dreamed of owning his own gym and making a difference in his community. After turning 30, Howard finally decided to trade his suit and tie for climbing shoes and a harness full time.
The rock climber put his degree in economics to good use and started doing market research on where to open Top Out Climbing Gym. Finally, he decided on Santa Clarita, a smaller city north of Los Angeles, without a rock climbing facility.
In April, we celebrate National Financial Literacy Month, which serves as an opportunity to review your finances, assess your financial literacy and how it can help you take your business to the next level. In celebration of this special month, we reached out to some of our Venturize partners to get their thoughts on National Financial Literacy Month, key advice for business owners, and how their organizations work to support the small business ecosystem.
Sayuri Tsuchitani began her career as a hairdresser in New York, and her work launched her into opportunities to travel the world. As a Japanese immigrant, she says her career goal is to bring Eastern techniques of relaxation to help alleviate stress in Western cultures. Although her entrepreneurial journey hasn’t always been an easy one, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Headspa EN in Beverly Hills, Calif. continues to prevail.
As a business owner, not asking the right questions in the beginning stages of your business can lead to years of financial repercussions. Georgia entrepreneur Markela Taylor knows this well.
Markela was happy at her nine-to-five job until a family emergency pulled her away from the office. After believing her job would be safe while she traveled to be with her family, she was surprised when she got an email saying her job was in jeopardy.
Children admire their parents’ careers, and often emulate the kinds of jobs they perform: they want to be firefighters, police officers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and so forth. This was also the case for Celia Rudder, who wanted to be like her father from an early age and become an entrepreneur in Greensboro, N.C. Although she wasn’t encouraged to follow in his footsteps, she eventually took over her father’s business after he passed away.
Erica King is the President of Greenwood Archer Capital, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) organization founded in 2012 to supply micro and small business loans catalyzing small business development throughout the metropolitan Chicago area and its adjacent suburbs, as well as greater Cook County Illinois.
Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur, right?
John Martin, the CEO and founder of the North Carolina-based consultancy group Martin-Sloane International and Martin & Company, is on his second-time around as an entrepreneur.
He originally started a small IT consulting firm in 1994, which he eventually sold in 1997.
Lauren Fontaine’s small business, Blackscriptions, is a quarterly subscription box full of goodies from a selection of Black-owned businesses. What’s different about this subscription? There are a couple of things, the most significant being its objective. Lauren calls her boxes a conduit, connecting others to Black-owned businesses needing further support and sales.
“I launched Blackscriptions out of my desire to economically uplift and empower Black-owned businesses,” Lauren said.
For Lisa Marsh, owner and founder of Ms. P’s Gluten Free, going gluten free changed her health. Her acid reflux and digestive issues went away, and she felt better than she had in years. Yet, this change in diet meant having to explore alternative recipes for treats normally full of gluten, like cakes and cookies.
Lisa recalled finding triple chocolate chip, gluten-free cookies that can be baked at home. She was so eager to try one, Lisa couldn’t wait long enough for them to cool down.
Benevolence Farm, located in Graham, N.C., is a transitional living and employment program for women leaving North Carolina prisons. The farm grows and sells produce, flowers and herbs and manufactures soaps, lotions and candles with the support of the women participating in its programs.
According to their mission statement, “Benevolence Farm seeks to cultivate leadership, promote sustainable livelihoods, and reap structural change with individuals impacted by the criminal justice system in North Carolina.”
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