Sunday, May 27, 2007

Free stuff for entrepreneurs

Last week was chock full of marketing, business finances and networking.

Here's the highlights:
Monday I visited the NYC Business Solutions office in downtown Manhattan. The center aids entrepreneurs by offering workshops and one-on-one counseling - for free! Its manager, Karen-Michelle Mirko, was super helpful with tips on branding and on increasing the traffic on my blog. She even came up with a contact for me to speak to about an idea I have for a reality TV show! So lots of resources there - I highly recommend checking them out. Karen-Michelle will be on maternity leave starting at the end of June but she introduced me to Elli Papadopoulos (212-618-8817), who will be taking over while she's gone, but there's also other female counselors available as well. It's great to have women helping women, which is the new tag line I came up with for the Mogulettes: women helping women achieve success - I'm still working on it but what do you think? Let me know!

On Tuesday at our weekly meeting we had Marina Aris, a financial consultant from Ameriprise Financial talk to us about business finances. We had a great turnout from the Mogulettes at the presentation and I was able to meet three new members. Afterwards we mingled and exchanged ideas. Someone suggested I bring a tax accountant to one of our meetings, so if any of you know of a good one, please let me know! Another suggestion I got was to do a teleconference, so that we can hold the meeting from the comfort of our homes. I'll keep you posted on that! One of the topics Marina covered was fixing your credit before asking for a loan. Here's two free upcoming seminars I found that deal specifically with that:

Credit Readiness

Sponsor: NYC Business Solutions, along with Greenpath Credit Counselors
Date: Wedn., June 6th
Time: 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Location: Lower Manhattan Business Solutions Center
79 John Street, b/t William & Gold Sts.
4th floor conference room
Cost: Free

RSVP: Call 311 and ask for small business seminars

************************************** ********
What Every Woman Needs to Know About Credit

Sponsor: ACCION New York
Date: 06/06/2007
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Series Title: Save, Strengthen and Succeed! Financial Literacy Tips for Real Women
Location: Baruch College, Field Center for Entrepreneurship, 55 Lexington Ave./ Rm 2104
Cost: FREE
Description: Accion invites you to participate in this evening seminar and join ACCION's credit experts, local politicians, community leaders, and the Allstate Foundation in this kick-off workshop that will provide all the knowledge you need to read your credit report, build a healthy credit history, and more!
Registration Information: To register call (212) 387-0494.

If you can't make these they're offered periodically so check this calendar for future dates.

Does the idea of getting free money for your business appeal to you? It sure did to me, and that's why I made my way over to the Science, Industry and Business Library to attend a seminar by the same name, held by the Queens Economic Development Corp. It was all about grants for small businesses - where to find them, how to apply for them and what you need to qualify for them. They're free but you have to put together an application as well as a business plan to qualify for them. Here's a few places to find more info:

They also touched on business plan competitions, which are sometimes easier to obtain than grants. A quick google search for "business plan competition" + 2007 resulted in one for entrepreneurs 45 years old plus, one from Fortune Small Business for all ages, and one for women 35 years old or younger. There's also a lot of contests sponsored by universities for students but you can overcome these limitations by having someone on your team that fits their criteria.

Thursday and Friday I attended a conference on personal finance for Hispanic journalists sponsored by International Center for Journalists held at the McGraw-Hill headquarters, home of BusinessWeek and Standard & Poor's. One fellow writer I met there was Xavier Serbia, who has a website with lots of great articles on managing your money in Spanish and is very committed to getting the Latino community educated about their finances.

Pheww! It makes me tired just thinking about all the stuff I did last week. At our next meeting we'll be learning how to give our businesses a big push from two business coaches. How will they do that? Check back and find out!

No comments: