The Carter Malone Group LLC wants to help area small business owners figure out how the cookie crumbles, so to speak, when it comes to entrepreneurship and owning a business venture.
The public relations firm is hosting a series of three free symposiums through Feb. 16 titled “Controlling How the Cookie Crumbles: Educating and Empowering Entrepreneurs.”
The first was held Jan. 12, and the next two are Jan. 26 at Bloomfield Baptist Church, 123 South Parkway, and Feb. 16 at Breath of Life Church, 3795 Frayser Raleigh Road.
The events were designed especially to reel in women and minorities who are new to the madcap pace of owning a business or who are thinking of starting one. And they’ll deliver the basics. The events will provide insights around strong business plan development, industry benchmarking, using resources in the community, marketing and more.
There’s also a charitable component to the events. All three events will benefit the abused women services efforts of YWCA of Greater Memphis and F.F.U.N – Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives.
Participants are asked to bring an item to donate or a financial contribution for one of those organizations to get receive free entry.
“This was something that last quarter, my team and I were talking about how we’ve been so blessed and how could we give something back,” said Carter Malone Group president and CEO Deidre Malone.
“We do a lot of pro bono work for some of the nonprofits like the NAACP and (the National Association of Women Business Owners), and I said, you know, there are so many people who are interested in starting a business or are new business owners who don’t even have a clue about what it takes and how to become sustainable,” she said. “So let’s see if some of my friends will come together and work with me to do this.
“That was really the thought process,” she said. “To see how we can work with people who are really interested in becoming entrepreneurs and just kind of educate them on some of the things we’ve had to go through so they can avoid those pitfalls.”
The Carter Malone Group has assembled a lineup of speakers with a deep bench of business talent. They include Memphis barbecue entrepreneur Gina Neely; Nita Black, managing partner of MAP Momentum; Alandas Dobbins, director of the Memphis Office of Resource Enterprise; Natasha Donerson, CEO of Success Unlimited; Carolyn Hardy, president and CEO of Chism Hardy Enterprises; and Pamela Brooks-Martin with Cushion Employer Services.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at all events. The program begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon.
As an extra benefit to attendees, they’ll be able to apply for grant dollars. A $1,500 grant and other benefits will be awarded in March to the best business plan presented by the participants to help get their business started or to help them grow their business.
“This is a free event, we’re just asking people to bring a little something for the YWCA,” Malone said. “If we put this symposium on with the lineup of speakers we have and charged for it, it would probably cost $200 to attend. We’re very excited about this.”