This is a guest post from Rahel G, Strategic Advisor to Inclusive Innovation Incubator and Grow & Glow Program Lead.
On March 24th 2020 Mayor Bowser announced the closure of all Washington DC Non-Essential businesses and prohibited large gathering due to COVID19. Aaron Saunders, the CEO of In3 DC called me to discuss the Grow & Glow program. As a father of 4 girls, husband of a professional woman, and brother of 3 sisters, these programs are dear to him. The ‘Grow & Glow’ program consists of women-focused panel discussions as well as women based seminars. In addition, Cocktails & Connection events are mainly for women to network with the intent to build linkages and establish work relationships that allows them to grow together. Lastly, the Grow & Glow workshop offers a condensed version of the Inclusive Innovation Labs program session, “Starting your Business”.
Since its launch in 2019, the Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3) Grow & Glow program’s objective has been to host at least one component of the ‘Grow & Glow’ program every month. The ‘Grow & Glow’ goal is to provide women a platform to share, exchange, connect and learn from one another in addition to accessing services catered towards women professional or entrepreneurial needs.
Aaron and I brainstormed about the scheduled March 2020 ‘Grow and Glow’ workshop. Given the large In3 physical space, should we still have it on site with limited number of participants by implementing the 6 feet distancing rule? Should we teach it online? Should we try to work through the Beta App of In3Grow and see how we can execute it in a timely manner? We continued the discussion after thinking it through over the weekend, and on Monday, we agreed we should teach the workshop virtually using Google Meet, just as he converted the TheFutureIsWritteninCode (FiWiC) classes . We said perfect! Our ultimate goal is continue to meet the Inclusive Innovation Incubator’s objectives to support underrepresented entrepreneurs. At the end of the sessions, we received positive feedback our participants. Below are a few noteworthy comments.
“The Lean Canvas downloaded was very helpful for organizing a business idea.” Alexandra Boone
“I think it was great idea to encourage us to connect with the other participants in the class and network.” Lee-Sandra Alexandre
“Thanks for offering these workshops. My business contracts are stuck between COVID-19 but in the meantime I need to strengthen it!” Jaunese Harris
The Grow & Glow: Start Your Business Workshop Series was launched online with morning and afternoon sessions every Tuesday and Thursday starting April 14, 2020 for two weeks, in addition to Monday April 27 and Wednesday April 29 and concluded May 1, 2020 with one-on-one sessions.
The workshop was broken down into 2-hour sessions focusing on the following topics:
Marketing Your Business,
Crunching your Numbers, Understanding Financial Statements,
Q&A and Office Hours with a Financial Expert or Strategic Business Advisor.
60 participants registered for the program and 15 entrepreneurs actively engaged with the instructors every session. As shared with us, participants found the Lean Canvas session a perfect way to organize their ideas into a solution driven business. The Crunching your Numbers and Understanding Financial Statements session was helpful to recognize and itemize startup costs, comprehend operational budgets and develop as well as effectively identify revenue streams.
A brief video from one of the workshop sessions is available on Inclusive Innovation Incubator’s YouTube Channel & Facebook page.
Additional information on Inclusive Innovation Incubator can be found on the website at www.in3dc.com