After working with small business owners on every level via OBN, there was a need identified for Indianapolis entrepreneurs to receive formal business training. Entities such as the Business Owners’ Initiative, Small Business Association, OMWDB, United Way and more offer classes, training and even mentorship. However, gaps and challenges still remained. Several business owners in neighborhoods such as 46208 have additional systemic, economic, and environmental barriers that are not often addressed with these entities, nor are there enough facilitators/instructors that represent this population. Firsthand experience demonstrated that conflicting information to new business owners is commonplace, mostly due to the difference in the entrepreneurship experience for the minority, at-promise, disenfranchised, system-affected, LGBTQIA+, and other intersections. Many of these individuals circumvent the mainstream workforce and instead initiate home-based businesses as a means to make ends meet. Once success and popularity come into play, however, the need to legitimize becomes a necessity.
As such, Building Blocks was born.
Building Blocks was created to explicitly aid artists and entrepreneurs in Indianapolis and surrounding who may also be minority and/or marginalized local business owners. The course lasts six weeks and a graduation ceremony/networking mixer follows. Some of the topics that are covered include:
Approaching entrepreneurship with wholeness and grounding
Being healed enough to sustain opportunity
Business plans, missions, visions
Legal structures and how to choose which is right for your business