Thanks to the Incarnate Word Foundation for supporting CAAAB financially to implement the Phase 2 of Parents as Entrepreneurs. The one-one-consulting with Parents as Entrepreneurs participants will begin June 8th. Following posts will document the implementation process, outcomes, and impact of Phase 2 of the Parents as Entrepreneurs program.
Blog, News & Announcements
The St. Louis Post Dispatch published an article on Parents as Entrepreneurs program in their Friday, May 27 issue. The article was published in their Business section under Job Watch by Steve Geigerich. It is a beautiful article which highlights two of the most dedicated and serious Parents as Entrepreneurs participants Betty-Macc, and Marcia Johnson. They both currently own and operate a business and have enrolled in the Parents as Entrepreneurs program to attain more skills and guidance in advancing their business. Betty-Macc and Marcia strongly believe that the first eight weeks of the Parents as Entrepreneurs program provided them critical information,which they did not have access to prior to the program, for improving and advancing their business operation. Please read the article and send us your comment.
Entrepreneurs take hold in north St. Louis (click on the link to read the news article)
Phase 1 of CAAAB’s Parents as Entrepreneurs program ended in May. A total of seven Clay Elementary School parents graduated out of this eight week rigorous entrepreneurship and business development training. CAAAB hosted a grand graduation party for the parents. Equally involved in the process were their children who attended all the 16 classes over the eight week period. While their parents were taking classes they were being attended by volunteer tutors who not just helped them with home work but also engaged them in various arts, music, and strategy building activities. The excitement and enthusiasm that filled the children’s faces when their parents received the Parents as Entrepreneurs Phase 1 graduation certificate, was a moment of accomplishment for CAAAB. The video below captures some of the activities and outcomes achieved in Phase 1 of the Parents as Entrepreneurs program. Please enjoy!
Parents as Entrepreneurs (click on the link for video)
CAAAB members will soon have access to Business Operation Analysis at below market rate fee which will give them discovery data on the performance of their business based on the organizational life cycle, leadership style, human capital aspects of the leaders and their employees, technology, etc. The data/results will be presented along with recommendations and access to shared resources (for cost effective purposes) in the form of trainings/workshops in areas of needs and interest.
Parents as Entrepreneurs program developed by CAAAB with the help of the Incarnate Word Foundation began its operation in Clay Elementary School of the St. Louis Public School District located in the Hyde Park Neighborhood in North St. Louis. Seven parents have enrolled so far. We will soon be sitting with the teachers of children whose parents have enrolled into the program to begin developing a matrix to measure the social and academic impact of these children as a result of their parents pursuing their goal for financial independence. Parents have also identified some social areas where they need assistance in order for them to successfully pursue entrepreneurship. CAAAB will soon be linking these parents to appropriate support services. CAAAB is also developing an evaluation matrix to measure the process and impact of this program which will be updated periodically through this blog. Keep reading!
In the past one month, numerous CAAAB members and affiliates have received awards and or been featured in community publications for their outstanding leadership skills and professional achievement. Below are the list:
Mr. Eddie Davis, President & Executive Director, CAAABAward: Outstanding Citizens Award, St. Louis Gateway Classic Sports Foundation
Keith Turner, CAAAB MemberAward: Saluete to Young Leaders, St. Louis American Foundation
Two of our CAAAB members/affiliates, Shawn McKie (Juice Box Inc) and Marvin Woods (Project Controls Group) were featured in the St. Louis Small Business Monthly. These two leaders were chosen to represent the African American community as part of the Black History Month for the impact they were making as business leaders and as educators.
Parents as Entrepreneurs program along with other community programs that won the demonstration grant from the Incarnate Word Foundation to run programs in North St. Louis has been featured on St. Louis American.
CAAAB was among seven recipients to win a demonstration grant from the Incarnate Word Foundation, a St. Louis based foundation, to operate the Parents as Entrepreneurs Program at Clay Elementary School in Hyde Park neighborhood of North St. Louis. The goal of Parents as Entrepreneurs program is to train and help parents/guardians of children attending Clay School start their own business.
CAAAB and its partners which include Clay School and the Epsilon Lambda Charitable will be monitoring the impact of this program on the social and academic advancement of the children of the participants as well.
There was an article on CNN Money today on the surge of black owned businesses throughout the US between 2002 and 2007. This is not surprising since blacks have been hit the hardest in the job market due to poor economy. This has led them to become entrepreneurs and be self employed.
Our mission at Center for the Acceleration of African American Business or CAAAB is to assist these entrepreneurs in making sure that they have the right tools, resources, and skills to become successful and sustainable in their business and leadership growth. We have even formed strategic alliances with other community organizations to best support these businesses in terms of access to capital, job creation and retention, and skill development. For example, CAAAB has formed a close partnership with a micro lending organization in St. Louis to develop an emerging markets loan fund to increase lending capacity for these businesses which is not bound by traditional banking regulations, and is secured and sustainable.
CAAAB has also recently been awarded a demonstration grant to train parents and guardians of children attending a disadvantaged school in North St. Louis in entrepreneurship. The goal of this program is to help at least three to five parents start a business by the end of this year. CAAAB is unique in its mission and will continue to support this growing population with more focused, innovative, and sustainable interventions.
CAAAB has come a long way since its separation from the Black Leadership Roundtable in May, 2010. There were times after the separation when the very existence of CAAAB was questionable but with trust, hard work and perseverance, and the support of its members and the community the organization is looking forward for a new beginning.
Since separation from the Black Leadership Roundtable, CAAAB has established itself as an independent 501©3 organization. It has also extended its board membership and is in the process of building the capacity of its board for sustainable governance and the management of the organization. In the course of seven months, CAAAB has developed strong strategic partnership with area organizations who are highly accomplished and valued players in promoting social and economic justice. The partners are Justine Petersen, a one of its kind micro finance/lending organization in the region, Better Family Life, and Grace Hill who are both leading agencies in social and human capital development . The goals of these partnerships is to bring about a paradigm shift in community social and economic development in the St. Louis area whereby programs/services delivered are based on shared resources. The understanding is to maximize resources, lower overhead costs, and ensure effective service impact.
The first quarter of 2011 will see two major initiatives of the CAAAB/Justine Petersen partnership unfolding that will have tremendous impact on the growth and sustainability of disadvantaged businesses. They are, the ‘Emerging Markets Loan Fund’ and the development of an ‘Acceleration Center’ in the heart of Grand Center in North Grand. The ‘Emerging Market Loan Fund’, a pool of fund provided collectively by local banks and matched by Justine Petersen, will significantly increase the lending capacity of Justine Petersen to disadvantaged borrowers. The ‘Acceleration Center’ is aimed to provide “mixed income” work space with subsidized in-house shared services to small businesses.
CAAAB has also been hosting series of meetings with its member businesses and board members to reorganize its programs and service delivery method to best meet the sustainability needs of its existing and future member companies. CAAAB is conducting in house and university assisted research in best-practice to determine process led, cost effective, and targeted program/service delivery methods. The new method will also look at the human capital needs of the leaders and their workers and provide/link interventions accordingly to maximize company’s financial growth as well as that of the workers.
Development of community businesses are being researched and recognized as effective tools for poverty reduction and wealth accumulation among disadvantaged and impoverished residents of urban core neighborhoods in the United States. Recognizing this need, CAAAB is restructuring its services and building strategic community partnership to introduce entrepreneurship to impoverished and disadvantaged population, and create pathways for them to start and sustain a business. Recently CAAAB won a $5000 award, and is among other finalists to win additional $15,000 to operate a ‘Parents as Entrepreneurs Program’ in Clay Elementary school to uplift the economic conditions of parents. The overarching goal of this program is to socially and economically stabilize these families so that their children attain academic achievement.
In October, 2010, Mr. Eddie Davis, President and Executive Director of CAAAB received a Community Achievement Award from the City of St. Louis for his long and outstanding work on community economic development. He was among several reputed St. Louis community leaders awardees.
The year 2011 is critical for CAAAB as it begins its process of establishing itself as a catalyst for community economic development by building capacity of minority and disadvantaged businesses, mobilizing community stakeholders to create an environment that will allow and support the growth of these businesses, and by developing community businesses as tools for wealth accumulation among disadvantaged and impoverished population.
The dialog on Unbanked and Underbanked is becoming very popular in St. Louis, and why not? According to a recent article in the St. Louis American (High Credit Scores are Good Business by Eddie Davis, Executive Director of CAAAB, and Rob Boyle, CEO of Justine Petersen), 64% of black households in the St. Louis area are either unbanked or underbanked thus resulting in lack of and/or poor credit history. According to the authors, this phenomenon makes minority small businesses severely disadvantaged in terms of their ability to access the capital they need to run a business.
If small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, then this phenomenon has to be controlled and reversed! More progressive measures need to be enforced in the micro and macro level to pull this population out of this vicious cycle and allow them to fully participate in re-building the American economy. Clifton D. Berry, a St. Louisan and a prominent banking and financial services professional, also maintains a blog about this topic.