Yesterday, some of Washington, DC’s newly minted entrepreneurs had the opportunity to showcase their products and services at DC Department of Employment Services, during the Enterprise DC Program business plan pitch. Graduates of the 2013 program promoted their business ideas to volunteer judges – an amalgam of the program’s sponsors, business mentors, and entrepreneurs – who gave them feedback on their pitches, asked about their marketing campaigns, and shared suggestions for sustaining their businesses in the District.
A program sponsored by the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), the DC Department of Employment Services, DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s One City, One Hire initiative, and Byte Back, participants are unemployed or under-employed District residents, ages 22 through 54, who are interested in starting their own businesses.
Since April, they have undergone rigorous training, attending classes that help them learn how to start and sustain their business, such as financial planning, business management, website design, the use of social media to promote their businesses, and graphic design. Each member of the 2013 program was paired with area entrepreneurs for the duration of the initiative, who provided feedback on the business plan, and gave insight on how to manage, strengthen, and grow their enterprises.
Participants who pitched their business ideas on Thursday included an event planner who has honed her skills organizing festivities for twenty years before deciding to start her business. Another Enterprise DC entrepreneur launched a company to encourage creativity in youth to stimulate their ability to perform better in school and in life, while supporting the green sustainability efforts many of the city’s business owners embrace. A designer of hand-crafted baby wear, including embroidered bibs, pitched her business and shared a story about how First Lady Michelle Obama sent a thank you letter for an item she especially designed for President Obama.
The Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on our radio show, The Strategy Sessions (click here to listen to the interview or download it on iTunes)
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ABOUT THE BLOGGER: Kesi Stribling