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Start Small, Dream BIG
19 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
S3, Ep 6: Open Banking
“Open banking” may seem like a complicated concept, but entrepreneur Jorge Ruiz insists that at its core it’s very simple: it allows people better access to more financial services. Through his company, FinConecta, Ruiz builds open banking infrastructure that supports this access for people around the globe. Today on Start Small, Dream BIG Jorge Ruiz sits down with Center President Kerry Healey to discuss his journey to founding FinConecta, building open banking infrastructure in Canada, and how the Miami community has supported his entrepreneurial journey.
27 minutes | Aug 24, 2021
S3, Ep 5: Senior Living
Pilar Carvajal has more than 20 years of experience in the senior living industry. She entered the space with a mission to provide excellent care and has proven that better care and better resident outcomes can enhance profitability. Pilar's company, Innovation Senior Management, is designated as a certified Women Business Enterprise from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and a Minority Business Enterprise from the National Minority Supplier Development Council.Today on Start Small, Dream BIG, Pilar talks to Center President Kerry Healey about building her business, her motivations for entering the senior-living space, and her own American Dream.
25 minutes | Aug 17, 2021
S3, Ep4: A Backyard of Mannequins
Twenty years ago, Judi Henderson-Townsend started a side business renting mannequins from her backyard. Since then, Judi has built the only Black-owned mannequin company in the country, Mannequin Madness. In honor of her business success, Judi, also known to many as “The Mannequin Queen,” received a Special Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Living History Maker Award from Wells Fargo Bank. Today on Start Small, Dream BIG, Judi talks to Center President Kerry Healey about what inspired Judi to start collecting mannequins and how her side hustle turned into a successful and sustainable business.
28 minutes | Aug 10, 2021
S3, Ep3: Boxer Briefs
Following a successful career as a media executive, Fran Dunaway founded TomboyX with her wife to address an unfulfilled need: good and more comfortable underwear. Since 2015, Fran has used her years of experience and knowledge to raise the profile of TomboyX, and its inclusive, gender-neutral underwear, particularly its boxer-brief style, to disrupt the $13B undergarment industry.Listen to this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to learn more!
29 minutes | Aug 3, 2021
S3, Ep2: What Was Your 2020 Supposed To Be?
“What was your 2020 supposed to be like, and what did it end up being like, through to the present?”That’s the question Michelle Fishburne asked more than 300 people as she drove across the U.S. in an RV, collecting stories of Americans’ lives during the COVID-19 pandemic for her oral history project, Who We Are Now. Listen in as Michelle discusses the origins of the project and how her varied career prepared her to launch this new endeavor.
31 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
S3, Ep 1: Silver is Gold in Longevity Economy
Elizabeth Isele is the Founder and CEO of The Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship.She is an expert storyteller, speaker, and author. Her work celebrates the global impact of entrepreneurs in the longevity economy. Longevity economy entrepreneurs are the fastest-growing portion of the economy powered by individuals over 50 years. Elizabeth’s work views the American Dream as an intergenerational effort requiring teamwork, resilience and courage. Listen to this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to learn more.
23 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
S2, Ep 12: Accolade
“It's the responsibility of capitalism to not just build great businesses, but to have positive impacts on the communities that we work in.”At 23-years-old, Rajeev Singh co-founded the leading global travel and expense management firm, Concur. After 20 years working at and scaling the business, Rajeev left in search of a new endeavor that would give him a greater sense of impact and mission. Rajeev’s new venture, Accolade, seeks to reinvent how employees use their benefits and healthcare resources. In an often messy and confusing healthcare system, Rajeev’s mission is to personalize accessibility and drastically improve the experience of healthcare users.Rajeev shares his experience with local volunteering and campaign opportunities like All In Seattle, which launched early in the pandemic and encouraged business owners to put their unused business expenses back into the community. On this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG, tune in to learn about Rajeev’s entrepreneurial drive and why he sees company culture and bringing a positive impact to the community as essential factors to building a successful business.
27 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
S2, Ep 11: Street Art
“We knew we wanted to create a company that would provide not only economic opportunity for the women we were serving but also all the wraparound support so that it would help them transition to a life of independence.”Rebel Nell is a jewelry company on a mission. Co-founder Amy Peterson started the social enterprise as a means to support women transitioning out of homelessness and domestic violence in Detroit. By providing work experience, housing support, financial training and educational opportunities, Amy and her company help women successfully enter the workforce - and make beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry in the process.Hear how Amy was inspired to create the business on a run through Detroit’s local street art scene, the challenges of starting a social enterprise rather than a conventional non-profit or for-profit business and how the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program helped Amy grow Rebel Nell while keeping their mission central to their work on this week’s episode.
36 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
S2, Ep 10: GXA
“She [my mother] really wanted for me to understand the value of hard work and the value of a dollar, and she instilled that in me at a very young age. At the age of 12, my mother gave me her checkbook and told me to balance it every two weeks when she got paid. So, that really was the first beginning step of my financial education.”On a flight to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, Alicia Makaye and her husband came up with an idea for a new business on the back of a paper napkin. They sought to build a business while fulfilling their commitment to their community and missionary work. After saving Alicia's income for a year, the couple launched GXA, an IT services company that builds technical infrastructure for other small businesses in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Now, with support from organizations like Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, GXA has been named one of the Most Inspiring Companies in Texas and one of the fastest-growing IT companies in the country.In this episode of Start Small, Dream BIG, learn more about Alicia’s educational journey, including her time in the Air Force, the financial lessons she received from her mother and where she hopes to take GXA from here.
22 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
S2, Ep9: Powerful
“One thing that is super important in marketing is making sure that, once you have a value proposition, you activate that image in every consumer touchpoint. If you think about packaging, the messaging, the product, the website, the brochures, everything has to talk to that specific segment with that specific value proposition.”Throughout his years in the corporate world, Carlos Ramirez helped numerous organizations rethink their marketing strategy to engage new clients and reinvigorate their brands. Always looking for a new marketing challenge, Carlos found one in the yogurt aisle of the grocery store, where he noticed the lack of products marketed towards fitness enthusiasts. Determined to create the Under Armor of yogurt, Carlos launched a high protein yogurt branded with dark colors as the first product of his new organization, Powerful Foods. Today, Powerful Foods sells a full product lineup in nearly 10,000 grocery and specialty stores in the United States and across the world.This week, listen to a new episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to learn about Carlos’s journey from Venezuela to the United States, his early entrepreneurial endeavors and the support he has found from Endeavor Miami and their network of entrepreneurs.
35 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
S2, Ep 8: Building with Consciousness
“The American Dream to me is very simple. America owes me nothing but the opportunity to participate in a free enterprise. That is the American Dream.”Former Marine Andy Williams knew that he wanted to bring the problem-solving mentality he developed in the armed forces into his work as a civilian. Andy found his new challenge in affordable housing and creating employment opportunities for other veterans who often are left out of the job market. His company, Rehab Warriors, teaches veterans a new skill set in home building and rehabbing, making them more employable while increasing affordable housing in lower- to moderate-income communities. On today’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG learn about Andy’s decision to create a for-profit rather than a non-profit company to empower veterans in the workforce and increase their economic mobility, and how Rehab Warriors’ B-Corp certification holds them to a higher standard of operation.
21 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
S2, Ep 7: Lola
“The snacks that they had at the food pantries were not as nutritious as I would've liked, and they also contained things that my children were allergic to. And so, I started thinking about what would help satiate my husband's appetite, but would also taste good to my children. After speaking with my aunts, I came up with a recipe for a granola bar that was packed with really delicious ingredients, but that was nutritiously dense.”As a mother of five, Mary Molina began making granola bars when her family was confronted with economic hardship and had to rely on food assistance programs and food pantries. Faced with the need to provide her children with affordable, healthy and nutritious snacks, Mary began experimenting in her own kitchen, eventually perfecting her granola bar recipes. Gradually, Mary’s snacks gained fame in her neighborhood, and with the support of local small business groups and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, she was able to build her company, named Lola Snacks after her daughter, into a successful brand. Today, Lola Snacks is distributed by national retailers, like Walmart, and gives back by supporting organizations that fight hunger and local food banks to support kids who depend on food assistance.Tune in to this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to learn about Mary’s experiences as a successful entrepreneur who had her share of challenges and how she keeps her family involved in Lola Snacks even as the company has grown far beyond her home kitchen.
25 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
S2, Ep 6: How the Sausage is Made
“I got really invested in sausage-making because I felt like there was an opportunity there to really expound on that sustainability angle of sausage making and see how far I could take it.”- Cara Nicoletti.Sustainability has been at the core of Seemore Meats and Veggies since Cara Nicoletti first thought about creating a sausage company and following in her family’s footsteps as a 4th generation butcher. She took what she learned from working in her grandfather’s butcher shop, and with Ariel Hauptman, who formerly worked at Greyston Bakery, built an innovative sausage company that combines excellent products with a conscious effort towards the fair treatment of employees and animals.With a mission to make humane meat more accessible to people, Seemore produces sausages filled with vegetables making them not only a healthier alternative but also a more ethical one. Through their commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices, paired with their tongue-in-cheek advertising, Cara and Ariel have found a niche for themselves in the meat market. Tune in to this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to learn about how their family histories inform their work, the experience of being female business owners in the male-dominated butchery industry, and more.
42 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
S2, Ep 5: Super Good Super Store
“…if it's a problem for our customers, we are going to be with them. We're not going to be on the sidelines, noticing that it's a problem and do nothing. We're going to be experimenting and using sort of our entrepreneurial gift to see if we can't come up with something to make things better.”Jeffrey Brown is a fourth-generation grocer and the Founder, President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, Inc. Growing up working in his father’s grocery store in Philadelphia, PA, Jeffrey learned the importance of knowing and respecting your customer, especially their religion, race, and heritage, to give them the best service possible. As Jeffrey continued to learn, he recognized the flexibility that smaller, local grocery stores had in order to change to meet the needs of their communities, especially those living in food deserts where many larger grocery stores tend to fail. It felt natural, then, for Jeffery to combine his knowledge of grocery stores with his desire to help others by starting his own grocery store that is dedicated to both the needs of his customers and also his employees, beyond the scope of a normal grocery store. His stores house independent local businesses, small banks and health clinics that provide vital services to the community. Listen in to this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to learn how Jeffrey melded capitalism and impact into his growing business and hear about his nonprofit, UpLift, as well as other initiatives that focus on supporting underserved communities and helping make the American Dream accessible to as many people as possible.
23 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
S2, Ep 4: A New Kind of Handle
“I think [values] lead to the culture, and the culture comes from the people that you hire. And so, bringing your values to your work is making sure that the folks you hire hear the values that you have… From our perspective, trust is everything.”While growing up without running water and using an outhouse in rural Kentucky, Kyle Green learned the importance of sustainability from an early age. This focus on reuse and recycling has followed Kyle into adulthood and informed the focus of his company, HANDLE Global, which works to buy and sell excess medical inventory (think PPE, gloves, and medical equipment) for healthcare systems around the country. Tune in to this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to hear MCAAD President Kerry Healey and Kyle Green discuss his childhood, his experiences in the United States and abroad, and his desire to make a big impact in communities across the nation by redefining the medical supply chain to make it more patient-centric.
36 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
S2, Ep 3: Being Intentional
“…we need to remain vigilant about ensuring that as we grow and as we grow profits, that we continue to keep in mind the question of who benefits from those profits and how it is that a more inclusive form of corporate governance can both drive growth and positive impact in a way that I think some more traditional corporate organizations are still grappling with.”After years of working in corporate America, Laura Clise decided to start a company to address her growing frustration with the lack of easily accessible information on small businesses, beyond the product or service for sale. Laura’s company, Intentionalist, is an online guide to intentional spending that supports small businesses and diverse local communities.In this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG, Laura speaks with MCAAD president Kerry Healey about the origins of Intentionalist, the importance of using profits to grow sustainability and impact, and how each one of us can be more intentional with the dollars we spend in our communities.
24 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
S2, Ep 2: Rethinking Food
"I like the people. I love food, you know, I mean, but who doesn’t? Whether it's a Michelin star meal or a small meal at your home? What I love was the community -- really brilliant people, creative, interesting, driven from all different walks of life that came together.”In this week’s episode, we return to hear MCAAD president Kerry Healey speak with the founder and CEO of Rethink Food, Matthew Jozwiak, to discuss tackling the gap between the 70 billion tons of food waste every year in the US and the 42 million Americans experiencing food insecurity.As a college student, Matthew began his career in the food industry as a restaurant dishwasher. After working in France and various Michelin-star restaurants in the United States, Matthew founded Rethink Food on the fundamental idea that access to nutritious food is an essential human right. Rethink’s mission is to create a more sustainable and equitable food system in America. Today, with the help of partners such as American Express and Goldman Sachs, Rethink has developed a seamless process of taking excess food from restaurants, hotels, corporate kitchens and grocery stores and repurposing it into nutritious meals for those in need and distributed through community-based organizations - both during times of crisis and beyond.
29 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
S2, Ep 1: Perfect Parking
“So, my grandmother saved my father's life before they even knew each other. And that's what faith and destiny is about. That's why I believe that anything's possible in life-- that you never ever give up, miracles happen and when you have a chance to bring your humanity to the moment, you do it.” One of the greatest lessons Alan Lazowski learned from his parents, survivors of the Holocaust, was the importance of humanity and kindness and that momentary gestures of kindness can change history. Influenced by their example and story, Alan has instilled values of respect, integrity, trust, honesty and a commitment to his employees in his parking business, LAZ Parking. Under his leadership and focus on conscious capitalism, Alan's organization has spread across 35 states with 3,300 locations, all while staying rooted in these core values.On this episode of Smart Small, Dream BIG, MCAAD president Kerry Healey discusses with Alan Lazowski, founder and CEO of LAZ Parking, the philosophy behind and approach to implementing stakeholder capitalism and, how businesses can operate ethically and be profitable.
30 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
S1, Ep 9: The Power of Film
“Anything is possible as long as we can make dreams come true for other people. And, I think at the end of the day, that's the business we're in… we're making dreams come true for businesses, for enterprise, for nonprofits, for our team and, I wouldn't have it any other way.”Shezad and Hussain Manjee, two brothers moved to the United States with their family in 1990 from Karachi, Pakistan. Raised in Chicago, Shezad and Hussain grew up actively participating in their community. Despite initially diverging in their careers, while Shezad focused on photography and Hussain pursued business, their careers overlapped when Hussain saw an opportunity to grow and scale his brother’s company, DHD Films. The Manjee brothers, who are third-generation filmmakers, exercise their belief in the power of storytelling to tell stories that build powerful brands through their business. In early 2020, Dallas-based DHD Films experienced its best first quarter, but everything stopped overnight when the coronavirus paralyzed their business. The brothers had no choice but to innovate in order to survive and, as a result, developed contactless filming solutions. Listen to today’s conversation with MCAAD president Kerry Healey and Shezad and Hussain Manjee to learn more about their lives, their business, and their belief in the power of giving back. “Entrepreneurship is, and we've learned this from mentors that we've had along the way, but it's first focusing on our team members, focusing in the people that we touch every day and investing in them -- giving them a great opportunity to create whatever it is that they aspire to create. And then, when our team members are happy, they end up investing in the success of our clients.”
23 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
S1, Ep 8: Good Hair Day
"You can do it… you really can. I mean, you don't have to be a victim of your circumstances. Whatever you can come up with, whatever passion you decide to store down in your belly, you can make it - or whatever big idea you have in your brain - you can make it come true. And I think that it's just a blessing to be in a position where you can inspire other people as well." In pursuit of her life-long passion for doing hair, LaTarah Edmond left her marketing career to build Good Hair Day Salon in Duncanville, Texas. An alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, LaTarah speaks with MCAAD president Kerry Healey about her genesis story, her difficulty in raising capital in a high-risk industry, the importance of mentorship, and her challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. "…in the Black community, unfortunately, the Black salons have a stigma of being unprofessional. I personally had not seen an upscale Black salon… So, I started visiting all of the upscale salons that were Black-owned in Dallas and I was like, “Oh my gosh, I'm your client! I'm your demographic! How are you letting people know that you exist?””
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