Mentors Willing To Help Minorities Succeed!

Entrepreneurs should seek out mentors if you are struggling with your business!  There are many successful businessmen and women that are willing to help enterprising individuals and there are organizations located in almost every major city.

Do some research in your area and see what you can find!

We would like some feed back to see the different programs that are available to help those struggling!

We came across this article and thought you might enjoy and learn!

Mentors guide minorities to success

By Joyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Press May 3, 2014

MEL GRAVELYMel Gravely is president of TriVersity Construction.
Photograph by: Al Behrman, The Associated Press , The Associated Press

Mel Gravely says his construction company might not exist today if he didn’t have mentors to guide it.

Gravely’s company, TriVersity, joined a program called a minority business accelerator, even before he bought a controlling interest in the company in 2006. It helped the company get started and win contracts that have helped TriVersity’s revenue double.

“I don’t make any move at all without getting the input of the accelerator,” Gravely says.
Minority business accelerators have launched in a handful of metropolitan areas in recent years as local businesses, chambers of commerce and economic development groups work to create more jobs and improve the quality of life in their regions.

A key goal of the accelerators is to help minority-owned companies win contracts with large companies. Despite the rapid growth in the number of minority-owned businesses – more than 45 per cent between 2002 and 2007, according to the Census Bureau – they struggle to get business with major companies.

Many don’t have the ability to fulfill million-dollar contracts, something the accelerators aim to change. But there’s also a lingering perception that minority companies can’t do the job or can’t do it well, according to business owners and professors who study minority business.

What are minority business accelerators? Accelerators help companies speed up growth. The programs focus on a small number of companies that have shown potential to succeed and create jobs. To be in the program, a company must have annual revenue of $1 million or more and have a business plan that shows it can grow significantly in the next two to five years.

Mentors at the accelerators act as advisers, meeting with company owners, helping them improve operations and build strategies.

Why they exist; Local chambers of commerce and economic development agencies have launched accelerators to help minority businesses create jobs.

A small company may not have the infrastructure, such as computer systems, and the experience to operate on the level needed to fulfill a big contract, says Jeffrey Robinson, a professor of management and entrepreneurship at Rutgers University.

Life in the accelerator Mentors meet at least four times a year and many are in touch regularly. Businesses are generally mentored for a year or more by accelerator employees and some big corporations that do business with minority companies.
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