May 15, 2006

Cleveland Council on World Affairs Selects Entrepreneurial Academy to Host International Delegation

Cleveland Council on World Affairs Selects Entrepreneurial Academy to Host International Delegation

May 15th, 2006

Cleveland, Ohio – The CCWA and the Entrepreneurial Academy open their doors to two Scandinavian guests from Sweden and Denmark, traveling with support from the State Department International Visitors Leadership Program. The initiative is named "Business Development Issues for Women Leaders" with a focus on developing business entrepreneurs: The Role of Incubators, Associations, and local programs to Promote Female Business Leadership.

With mutual hopes of gaining practical insights into initiatives which expand opportunities for women business owners, such as loan programs and leadership training, Dr. Anne Witenroe, CEO of Symbion Science Park, (a Danish IT, Biotechnology business incubator) and Mr.Magnus Arronsson, Managing Director of Swedish ESBRI (Enterpreneurship and Small Business Research Institute), come to gain and share insights on our city's entrepreneurial opportunities. The meeting took place on Monday March 6th, 2006 from 1:30-3:00 PM at the Entrepreneurial Academy (540 East 105th St) within the City of Cleveland's Empowerment Zone.

The establishment of the Entrepreneurial Academy is the result of an innovative new partnership between the City of Cleveland, Kent State University's Center for the Study and Development of Minority Businesses, the Fairfax Renaissance and Glenville Development Corporations, the Consortium for Economic and Community Development, and Midtown Cleveland. The academy aims to help residents of the Empowerment Zone Communities to acquire basic skills that will allow them to achieve success in the marketplace.

Dr. Bessie House, Director of the Entrepreneurial Academy as well as Executive Director and Founder of the CSDMB at Kent State, spoke to our guests about the programs providing business assistance and training for new enterprises, economic self-sufficiency and minority entrepreneurship in the United States.

Dear Dr. House

Look in the next few editions of our blog to see a new feature - Dear Dr. House. In the next few weeks, we will reprint letters that our own Dr. House has received and her responses to those letters. Here's a reprint of the first letter we received, from Chris Mathis of Virtual Fitness International.

Dr. Bessie House,

Good afternoon to you Dr. House. I wanted to get this letter to you to thank you for the great impact you have had on my business life. My name is Chris Mathis. I was one of your students a few years back when you were doing the business workshops. Mr. Robert Woolbright (my uncle) and I unfortunately did not get to finish the course. At the time he had scheduling conflicts, which meant that I had to also drop out due to transportation issues at the time. I still appreciate the fact that you took the time to meet with me in your office at Kent State to give advice about my invention. Well here is the good news.

During your business workshops that I attended, you gave the class a business outline to follow. I spent 10 months utilizing your business outline to put together a one hour power point presentation for investors. The presentation was a resounding success and I raise the $9,000 I needed for legal fees. With the money I retained a patent agent, general attorney, and CPA to handle all of my legal affairs. My two companies are now official (Mathis & Associaties LLC, and Virtual Fitness International LLC). Also my main patent has been filed with the government.

I am now currently working on the next presentation. My goal is to get this presentation in front of three people: Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas, Former Pres. Bill Clinton, and Robert Johnson (founder of BET). My marketing plan requires the partnership of these three men. With God's favor and your business outline, my confidence is sky high. Thank you again Dr. House, you are truly an inspiration to me.

God Bless,

Chris Mathis

CEO of Virtual Fitness International


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