Toting a box of her homemade cupcakes, Audrey Watson, founder and owner of The Rum Cake Kitchen couldn’t fathom how anyone could pass up the opportunity to attend Mind your Business: Building a Network of resources for business owners and entrepreneurs. The event was held Saturday, October 5, 2019 in Coppin State University’s Physical Education Complex, located at 2523 Gwynns Falls Pkwy. in Baltimore.
“Overall, I really enjoyed Mind Your Business,” said Watson.“It was very informative. I learned a lot, and the event was great for networking. Why would someone not take advantage of something like this? It was free and I received so much helpful information. This event was like liquid gold.”
Watson was among the entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs who attended Mind your Business: Building a Network of resources for business owners and entrepreneurs. Presented by PNC Bank and Times Community Services, Inc., the free event was designed for small business owners, entrepreneurs, creative industry organizations and DIY (Do It Yourself) businesses.
“There were some really great speakers,” said Watson. “We received a whole packet of information from PNC Bank, and learned about different opportunities to get money. Vendors were also on hand to give us information about their services. I am so glad I came.”
Dr. Ron Williams of Coppin State University Speaks On The Panel
The event included morning and afternoon breakout sessions that covered a wide range of topics including financial education; how to start and structure your business; financing your business; promoting your business on social media; when you should include a CPA or legal experts; as well as an introduction to tax incentives that are available if you are located in one of Baltimore’s Arts Districts. The event also included Q&A, a Resource Panel Discussion, lunch, giveaways, and networking opportunities.
Everett K. Sands, CEO of Lendistry, presented a workshop geared towards educating small businesses about credit with Ramsey Harris, Vice President and Territory CRA Business Advisor in the Retail Lending Distribution Management division at PNC Bank. Lendistry offers small business term loans and lines of credit to their clients.
“There were a lot of women entrepreneurs in attendance,” said Sands, in noting that the overwhelming majority of attendees were females. “I am not sure what to attest that to right now, but it shows that more time needs to be spent on women entrepreneurship.”
He added, “I thought it was an amazing event. Through events like this, I am hopeful small business owners will learn the eco-system. That’s the starting point, graduating to Lendistry, which is us, and then on to the banking industry. For us to become more aggressive in our entrepreneurship, we have to know how to play the game. Education is what makes the difference.”
Other businesses and agencies who participated in the event included The Avenue Bakery, Baltimore Business Lending (BBL), PURESOLAR, the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women Owned Businesses, and TouchPoint Baltimore. Coppin State University students also participated.
Mind Your Business 2019
“I came today because I am a young mom with a three-year-old with a passion for working with other moms and dads with children,” said aspiring entrepreneur and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counselor Kellie Rice. “I want to turn my passion into a business. This event was very powerful and very resourceful.”
Morgan State University student Eryn Johnson also attended the event.
“I thought the event was really good,” said Johnson, who is also a student reporter with The Baltimore Times. “It was very informative. I really enjoyed the social media workshop, which talked about keeping your business and personal pages separate and apart on social media.”
The 21-year-old added, “It’s important to gather information. Especially when you are young.”
Cheyanne Gordon, 21, also attends Morgan State University, and a Baltimore Times Student Reporter.
“I thought the event was very informative,” said Gordon, who is an aspiring aesthetician. “I learned a lot. I am thinking about starting my own business, and this event helped me to get information on where to start.”
Takia Ross, who was among the presenters, was also an event exhibitor.
“This event presented a wonderful opportunity to connect with new clients,” said Ross, who is a make-up artist. “This event also presented an opportunity to network with other business owners, which enables us to help each other to grow.”
She added, “I am always interested in, and advocate for women and other minorities accessing capital. I always share tips on social media to access funding, connecting with your customer, and collaborating with others. Mind Your Business presented a great opportunity to share that information.”