Broward College Hosts Its Inaugural Entrepreneur Day Event
Have you ever had a hunger to be your own boss or parlay that original idea you cooked up into a full-blown business? The first step to realizing your professional aspirations is learning how to get started and hearing advice from the experts.
Broward College recently offered this opportunity through its inaugural Entrepreneur Day on North Campus in Coconut Creek. Dicky Sykes, district director for Supplier Relations and Diversity, and Dr. Avis Proctor, North Campus president, served as event hosts. Sykes got the idea for the concept after attending a similar SCORE Entrepreneur Day hosted at Nova Southeastern University and wanted to bring the concept to the College.
“As a leader in the community, education and supplier diversity, Broward College fosters collaboration and brings great minds together to solve problems,” Sykes said.
Prospective entrepreneurs joined established business heads looking to get further ahead for a lively discussion on how they can be successful. The overall message conveyed to more than 100 attendees was it’s one thing to start a business, but another to actually grow one to scale. A diverse set of skills are needed, and the information provided steered them in the right direction.
Small Business Administration (SBA) and Broward SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) were event partners, creating awareness for the services and guidance each organization provides. Sheryl Dickey, president and CEO of Dickey Consulting, opened many eyes as she spoke about the pitfalls and potential landmines a business owner could incur if they are not careful. Another point expressed was that even with so much technology at our finger tips, nothing beats face-to-face contact. It’s where important relationships are forged, trust gained and opportunities created.
Other guest speakers included Mark Bryant, director of government lending for CenterState Bank; Michael Carn, president and CEO metro of MetroBroward Economic Development Corporation, George Gremse, chairman of Broward SCORE; Althea Harris, director of marketing and outreach, Area 1, SBA; Miguel Hernandez, president and CEO for CFO by Design, Russell Miller Thompson of the Law Offices of Russell Miller Thompson; and Enrique Triay, director of the Innovation Hub at Broward College.
The feedback was unanimously positive. Many stayed even after the official end time had passed because they were so engrossed in conversation and wanted to learn more. Among those who benefited from the presentations was Marva King of Intervention Services Empowering Women.
“This event was one of the best I have attended. I walked away with a wealth of information and knowledge. Some of which I intend to take advantage of,” she said.
According to Triay, a half dozen entrepreneurs expressed interest in the Innovation Hub after the event, with one wanting to move into the space by January, 2017. The SBA is exploring potential ways for further collaboration as well. The Broward College Innovation Hub is a one-stop shop for individuals to accomplish their entrepreneurial goals. For more information, visit http://www.broward.edu/academics/ce/Pages/innovationhub.aspx.