As the son of an entrepreneur and CEO of my company, I know the struggles and rewards of small business. Thirty years ago when my father’s idea was turned into reality, our company was born. Our company engineers and manufactures high quality, innovative products made by hard-working Americans. It’s because of this, the company continues to grow and provide job opportunities in small-town Minnesota, and granted us the opportunity to become a philanthropic leader in the community. What I’m getting at is this—the small business world has infinite potential when we support entrepreneurship.
I learned of a small business program steadily making its way across the states, 1 Million Cups. The two-year old non-profit program supports start-ups by giving them a platform to present their fully developed new business ideas to other successful entrepreneurs and executives. The program is run by volunteer entrepreneurs who provide coaching and mentoring—not to mention valuable business connections—all while providing attendees a complimentary cup of coffee. Business over a cup of coffee – exactly as my dad would have it!
While this program does not provide direct opportunities to raise capital, it’s the kind of complementary networking and support that new business entrepreneurs need to grow their business; this type of program is what small business in America needs for the economy. I’m happy to see small business supporting one another by sharing experiences, advice and connections all over a cup of coffee.