Front Page News and Events

SBA Boots to Business

Are you a Veteran interested in starting or growing your business?
If so, you don’t want to miss out on this “Boots to Business Reboot Training“.

This is a 2 part training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership as a career vocation, an outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognition, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources.

Part one is a two-day introduction to Entrepreneurship course eligible to Veterans of all eras, Servicemembers, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, and their spouses. This course is instructed by SBA and its partners who are skilled business advisors.

For additional information about registering for the training, contact Natalie Hall at (904) 443-1902 or natalie.hall@sba.gov.
You must register in order to attend.
Click HERE to register.

 

 

Entrepreneurial Diversity Information Technology Program (EDIT)

The EDIT program will focus on supporting community members in launching business endeavors that have social missions. Throughout the program participants will be matched with industry partners who will serve as mentors, as well as computer science graduate students who will support the technical development of products.

 

For additional information, contact case@cise.ufl.edu or visit www.wedocase.org .

Women’s Business Mastermind Intensive

As a follow up to last year’s Women’s Business + Leadership Conference, we remain committed in our efforts to engage and develop women entrepreneurs. The Women’s Business Mastermind Intensive allows women to convene to identify challenges, evaluate solutions, strengthen networks and collaborate to find opportunities to move business forward with UF and beyond. We help women entrepreneurs win in business!

You must RSVP to attend. There is no cost to attend. Continental Breakfast & Lunch will be provided.

Please email Darlean Manning to RSVP. You may also call 352.392.0380 for additional information.

For small businesses, education and innovation go hand in hand

There used to be a time when creativity and innovation were only associated with artists, musicians, writers, and the like. It didn’t take much for an organization to stand out, as competition wasn’t so intense…as long as it was a little different, it was perceived as innovative, making it easy for someone to dominate the market. But with changing times, came a different mind-set. The need to ideate and innovate is pivotal now more than ever before. For businesses, it has become a game changer!

The 21st century innovation/technological revolution has changed the way we do business, becoming an integral part of every facet and detail of our personal lives and businesses – how we work, how we live, how we interact, how we conduct business, the types of businesses started, and more, making it vital for business owners to constantly learn new tools, skills, and techniques to maintain their competitive edge. But for small businesses who are short on time (and often, cash), how do you jumpstart your business education? Here are some education resources for every small business owner to get the information they need to help their team succeed.

Books and Podcasts
Access to practically anything that we want to know is available at the touch of a button. If you have the time, reading a book or listening to a podcast is a quick and easy way to brush up on a specific business topic.

Degree Programs
If you have the time to commit (and a few thousand dollars to spend), most college programs offer undergraduate and graduate majors in entrepreneurship. This provides the formal business education and training that potential partners, investors, employees, etc. find valuable. Additionally, many programs are incorporating opportunities to develop an actual business as part of the curriculum, combining business principles with applied, real-world experience.

Continuing Education Programs and Workshops
There are a number of free online courses that can be completed in a few hours a week, including those through edX, Coursera, US Small Business Administration, to name a few. If you need face time with instructors and classmates, check local programs for free seminars and guest speaking sessions sponsored by local small-business alliances.

Mastermind Groups
These groups, whether online or in person, allow you to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and trusted advisors who meet regularly with the goal of improving each other’s lives or businesses. The collective brainpower of the group, the “mastermind,” can solve problems and take advantage of opportunities in a way that an individual person may not be able to (think, two or more heads are better than one).

Incubators and Accelerators
Incubators tend to focus on startups and usually work best when focused in a specific field or industry. Accelerators provide that next step for a business to transition from start-up to full-fledge operation. These options tend to provide the close network, collaborative support and access to mentors, which have been proven to be successful elements for long-term business success.

In the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship, it is not always easy to make time to take a class or do. But if you are to solidify your business’ competitive edge and demonstrate your position as an expert or thought, it is no longer a luxury but an imperative to develop a mindset receptive to new ideas and open to continual learning.

The University of Florida Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations offers a wide array of learning opportunities for small businesses. For more information on the University of Florida’s program, go to https://sbvdr.admin.ufl.edu/. Follow them on Twitter @UFSmallBusiness and Facebook @UFSmallBusiness.

By Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD, Director UF Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations

UF Director for Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations appointed to state small business advisory board

The University of Florida Director for Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD, has been appointed to the Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development by the secretary for the Department of Management Services, Erin Rock.

This group consists of small businesses, supplier diversity professionals and stakeholders from across the state of Florida to provide insight and expertise to the state regarding small and minority business development and provide recommendations on how to improve engagement of and support for Florida’s small and minority business community.

Porter is a nationally recognized expert on supplier diversity, small business development and entrepreneurship, and has led supplier diversity programs and acted as business consultant for higher education, municipalities the federal government for more than 10 years. She is a frequent speaker/panelist at conferences and events focusing on supplier diversity, small business development/entrepreneurship, women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment and diversity and inclusion and has been an adjunct business instructor for over 10 years at several colleges and universities.

Porter is the author of 50 Billion Dollar Boss: African American Women Sharing Stories of Success in Entrepreneurship and Leadership (Palgrave Macmillan) and a business contributor to several local and national publications and platforms including the Gainesville Business Report, OPEN Forum (American Express), ESSENCE Magazine and more. In 2017, she was recognized as a 2017 Fierce Woman by Business in Greater Gainesville magazine and a Florida Woman on The Move by ONYX Magazine. Porter’s second book, on supplier diversity, is scheduled to be released in fall, 2018. Porter received her CPSD (Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity) through the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in 2015.

“I am excited to have the work that we are doing with small businesses here at UF get recognized. I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate and create opportunities for small and minority businesses throughout the state of Florida,” says Porter.

UF’s Office of Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations seeks to identify and utilize a diverse supply of qualified vendors interested in providing the many services and products required by the university.

SBVDR is responsible for the university’s Supplier Diversity Program, which focuses on providing equal access for small, HUBZone, minority, small-disadvantaged, veteran, service-disabled veteran, and women-owned businesses by providing them equal opportunity to compete for procurement and contracting opportunities at UF.

Take Action, Try Not To Overthink It !


Congratulations! You’ve made a large step in thinking about or already establishing your business endeavour. If you now own a business, you completed the most difficult task for most, action. If you’re still on the fence the best advice is to take action.

New Is Scary

It’s more common than you think to be terrified of trying new things. We tend to think irrationally that things will automatically fail or not progress as intended. Funny things is, everything is so new when you are running a new business. Throughout the process, you will not know everything. Commonly, business owners worry about not creating enough value for their customers or not attracting enough customers to buy their valuable service or product. We often tell ourselves that our fear and self-doubt is more valuable than a positively laid out action plan. Acknowledge whenever the fear and self-doubt creep in, it’s not telling you anything useful, and move forward anyway. Overthinking is part of fear, it’s only charged up when you give it power.

Do you think you’re the only one going through these feelings? Good news, everyone struggles with fear, even if they don’t let on. The fear of putting yourself out there or launching something new doesn’t entirely go away. The main reason why people are able to manage their overthinking self-doubt and still achieve success is because when they experience it, they acknowledge it to keep the train moving.

You’re Doing Great!

You know what? Fear can be a sign that you’re on the right track to success, as long as you work to overcome it. Over thinking your abilities and work is a sign that you are working on something important. You’re most likely over thinking because you think a more perfect human other than yourself is capable. Perfect humans don’t exist and no one will do whatever you are working on like you! Go, do your thing.

There isn’t a secret to conquering self-doubt, over thinking, or fear of failure. There isn’t a huge step process because we all struggle but we must learn how to manage those thoughts as an entrepreneur

Action!

Magic happens when we take action. Embrace your actions over the perceived outcome. Practice by starting small. They won’t be perfect but just keep going. Celebrate your progress and make action a habit. Go out there and be uniquely you!


Simply Sociable is a boutique administrative firm that understands the importance of leveraging the internet and technology. Simply Sociable specializes in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs to work on their business instead of in it. They provide administrative consultations and virtual administrative assistants to get things done. Nadia Alcide is the founder and a University of Florida alumni.

 

Registration for 2018 Mentor Protégé Program is now OPEN!

UF Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations Mentor Protégé Program matches emerging small businesses with leading area businesses to assist them in gaining the tools and techniques to improve their operations, foster long-term relationships and accelerate growth. .

 Accepting applications September 2017!

 Learn more about this program here.

 

Correct Your Posture Before It Tells You

The month of May is Correct Posture Month. According to the American Posture Institution, startups, entrepreneurs, and business leaders lose an average of 6 hours in productivity per week. The typical loss of activity is attributed to headaches, back pain, and decreased focus. On any given workday, there are a number of factors that play a major part in your posture. They include the placement of your work chair, keyboard, lighting, and monitors. Once you are aware of how these factors can make or break proper posture, it is suggested you pay close attention to where you can make a series of improvements.

As a hard working entrepreneur, business owner, and professional – you naturally put in longer hours than most. With the huge amount of responsibility and work associated with running successful organizations, posture and ergonomics isn’t seen as a huge priority. It then becomes a priority when you hit crisis mode to the point where there is severe pain and a large decrease in productivity.Time is precious.

If your work requires the use of a computer, you most likely suffer from rounded shoulders and a forward head posture. Ouch! Think about it, are you sore after working at the computer? If the answer is yes, chances are it also makes you sleepy and tired while trying to crush the day. Your body is lacking oxygen and produces chemicals to signal a nap. If your work is more active and strenuous, it is equally important to conduct activities using ergonomic best practices.

Positively re-educating yourself about proper posture and ergonomics is a step in a great direction for increased productivity, motivation, and happiness.

Here are a few tips to help:

Reminders
We all focus when we have a deadline or important work to get done. Sometimes we need a steady reminder. Set an alarm or use a sticky note to remind you to get up, walk around, and take advantage of a break.

Take Breaks
Allow yourself time to reset during the day or while at the computer. If you work for a full hour, take 20 to 40 seconds to stand-up, stretch, and reset your posture. Raise your hands in the air and make a large circle to reset. It will allow more oxygen flow, clarity, and better awareness during the work day.

Although relatively simple, these changes will truly help the way you tackle your very busy days.

Simply Sociable is a boutique administrative firm that understands the importance of leveraging the internet and technology. Simply Sociable specializes in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs to work on their business instead of in it. They provide administrative consultations and virtual administrative assistants to get things done. Nadia Alcide is the founder and a University of Florida alumni.