This grant will support Mastermind Groups that offer peer-to-peer mentoring to minority and women owned businesses to solve problems and increase revenue. Every month Kolor Society and Innovative Entrepreneurs Hub partner with Startup Grind South LA to host mixers that highlight startups, founders, innovators, and creators. These business owners reveal challenges and a desire for a shared space to discover solutions, resources, and increase revenue.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
In what stage of innovation is this project?
Pilot project or new program
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
Innovative Entrepreneurs Hub; Startup Grind South Los Angeles
If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.
Innovative Entrepreneurs Hub (IEH) will offer access to conference rooms, business branding services, business credit consultations, and financing options.
Startup Grind South LA will hold monthly events which will serve as an entry point to reach small business owners. They will assist in marketing the mastermind groups. Their partnership with Google for startups will allow participants access to countless business building tools, ability to apply for up to $100,000 on the Google Cloud Platform, and discounted tickets to the Startup Grind Annual Global event in Silicon Valley.
What is the need you’re responding to?
In 2012, US Census data suggested that Los Angeles County led the nation in the number of minority owned businesses. South Los Angeles is ripe with emerging, new and seasoned business owners. Every month at Startup Grind South L.A., attendees mention their pain points -- marketing, accounting, access to capital, just to name a few. While resources are readily available to help entrepreneurs succeed, individuals are skeptical and bombarded by information overload. Entrepreneur magazine suggests “eight of every 10 businesses flop within the first 18 months of operations” (2017). This suggests businesses lack the support to trudge through challenging situations. This is especially true for minority-owned businesses in South L.A. where there is a dearth of Mastermind Groups. We aim to form Masterminds led by successful business owners who will assist South L.A. entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills to overcome barriers to success.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
As Founder of Kolor Society, I am uniquely suited to lead this project based on my status as a minority owned and women-led business. While I have experienced success in gaining members and facilitating impactful events, the thought leadership of peers and business leaders who have done it before could have mitigated my learning curve. In 2015, I participated in a Mastermind Group led by the Los Angeles Urban League that was helpful in providing peer-to-peer support. However, the Mastermind lacked facilitation by a successful business owner. Now, five years later there is still no strong Mastermind in South L.A. to assist minority entrepreneurs in scaling up their businesses. Kolor Society can meet that need with the formation of Kolor Mastermind, the solution to provide a space for deep and focused learning and support.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
Direct Impact: 50
Indirect Impact: 270,000
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
The Mastermind Groups will serve approximately 50 minority and women owned business owners with physical spaces in South LA and/or affecting South LA residents.
We will require that business owners have been in operation for one year or more, have a consistent revenue, and customer base. We will encourage participants from industries that lack minority representation such as, “professional, scientific, technical, information, and financial-related” (Journal Review, 2019). Participation and success in the mastermind group will affect families, customers, South L.A., and the broader communities. Tax revenues generated from businesses provide much needed services for the community. When small businesses thrive, the community thrives.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
We will define success by the completion of eight mastermind groups in the period of one year. Our goal is to help approximately 50 business owners overcome challenges, implement solutions quickly, and increase revenue.
We will measure success using the following data points:
Number of Mastermind participants
Number of peer-to-peer connections
Number of collaborators
Types of industry of businesses
Increased profitability of each business by a minimum of 10%
Increased skill set of each participant by a minimum of 3 skills
Which of the CREATE metrics will your submission impact?
Minority- and women-owned businesses
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
Access to the LA2050 community
Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
Strategy assistance and implementation
Access to successful business owners