March 14, 2007

November 6th Blog


We have some big news to share with you for this issue. This issue marks the beginning of the theme of focusing in on the strategies that can be used to enhance workforce productivity and efficiency in the 21st century. We are also proud to announce our upcoming graduation ceremony for the E-Academy in which Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and KSU President Lester Lefton are confirmed speakers. We will also share some brief highlights from Dr. House's speaking engagement in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

Quote of the Week

Entrepreneurs are not Born....They Become through the experiences of their lives.

--Professor Albert Shapiro
Ohio State University

10 Strategies to Use to Enhance Workforce Productivity and Efficiency

We now live in a time period of unprecedented workforce volatility and unpredictability. What this simply means is that the American workforce has dramatically changed from what it was several decades ago. While in the not too distant past, workers could be assured of long-term employment opportunities with firms in which they were allowed to grow and experience upward mobility over time, our current workplace environments are now characterized by frequent downsizing of companies and their employees by domestic and multinational corporations, the outsourcing of many jobs to other countries where workers will perform the work for lower wages, and an overall lack of job security for men and women of the 21st century.

Through the years, I have hired a number of employees to work in our centers and I have given several job references for some of them who moved on to other positions for a variety of reasons. As I have received calls from their prospective employers, I have been asked many questions about the types of jobs they performed in our offices, the quality and quantity of their work performed, their ability to work under pressure, and many other questions. But, by far, the most important of these questions has been whether, if given the opportunity, I would hire these individuals back. For me, that is indeed, the most important question. If the employer can enthusiastically answer this question in the affirmative without any hesitation whatsoever, it is a good sign that the employee was successful in his/her previous job assignment. If the employer cannot answer in the affirmative, it suggests to the listener that perhaps there was a disconnect between the employee’s job description and his/her ability to adequately perform the work to a satisfactory degree.

In the next few editions of Entrepreneurial Alternatives, we will provide 10 strategies that can be used to enhance workforce productivity and efficiency in the 21st century.

Mayor Frank G. Jackson of Cleveland Will Make Opening Remarks at E-Academy Graduation

Mayor Frank G. Jackson of Cleveland Will Make Opening Remarks at E-Academy Graduation on November 11, 2006 from 3PM to 5PM. This ceremony is open to the public. The theme for this year’s ceremony is "The Power of Collaborations: Prioritizing Entrepreneurial Development for the 21st Century".

Established in 2004, the Entrepreneurial Academy provides business training and assistance to individuals who live in Hough, Glenville, Fairfax and the Midtown Corridor of Cleveland. It is the result of a creative and innovative collaboration between the City of Cleveland Empowerment Zone, Kent State's Center for the Study and Development of Minority Businesses, the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, the Consortium for Economic and Community Development, The Glenville Development Corporation, and Midtown Cleveland.

The Entrepreneurial Academy is located at 540 East 105th Street, Suite 250. Dr. Bessie House serves as the Director of the Entrepreneurial Academy as well as the Director of the Center for the Study and Development of Minority Business at Kent State University.

This year’s class includes 41 students from the Cleveland area. "Not only do graduates receive a certificate of completion, they leave the Entrepreneurial Academy with their own business plan to take to potential investors and a wealth of information on what it takes not only to start, but to grow a small business" says Dr. Bessie House, director of the academy. Dr. House is the author of the critically acclaimed book, "Confronting the Odds: African American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio".

The ceremony will be held at The Civic Conference and Event Center, 3130 Mayfield Road, Mayfield Heights. In order to graduate, the students must attend 90% of all the scheduled business classes, create an extensive business plan, work with experienced business coaches, and score a 70% or higher on their final examination. The gradients classes attended both advanced and basic business training class. They graduate with a certificate of completion, their own business plan to take to potential investors and a wealth of information on what it takes not only to start, but to grow a small business.

The welcoming address and congratulatory remarks will by given by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. The honorable Frank G. Jackson is all about Cleveland-he grew up here, attended public school here, received his associate degree from Cuyahoga County Community College, his bachelor's degree, master's degree in public administration, and law degree from Cleveland State University. Mayor Jackson is quoted as stating that he "wants his time as Mayor to be judged on what we do for the least of us."

Mayor Jackson first worked as a night clerk for the Cleveland Municipal Court while putting himself through law school at the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. He passed the Ohio bar exam and started his legal career as an assistant city prosecutor. In 1989, Jackson won a seat on the Cleveland City Council for Ward 5. Jackson's progress in Ward 5 helped him get elected Council President in 2001, succeeding Michael D. Polensek. Jackson announced his candidacy for mayor on April 7, 2005, and was sworn in as the city's next mayor at East Technical High School in Cleveland on January the 2nd, 2006.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Lester A. Lefton, president of Kent State University. Dr. Lefton became Kent State University’s 11th president in July 2006. He is respected internationally for his scholarship in the field of experimental psychology. An authority on visual attention and memory, his research has been supported with numerous federal grants and has been published widely in scholarly journals. He also is an award-winning teacher with 35 years of university teaching experience. Dr. Lefton’s introductory psychology textbook, now in its ninth edition, is used in college classrooms nationwide.

Mr. Steven Sims who is the Director of the Office for Business Development of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will be Master of Ceremonies for the graduation.

Congratulations to All Graduates: Andre Bustamante, Vera Brewer, Betty Craig, Robert Craig, Carl Green, Marlo Linen, Betty Mahone, Kevin Moses, Brian Sullivan, Brenda Greer, Ashok Gupta, Constance Haynes, Stephanie Howse, Sonya Kyle, Vivian Levert, Maria Mango, Bilaal Muhammad, Laherm Patterson, Rowena Robinson, Kim Whitsett, Vicki Acquah, Tony Allmond, Dennis Corbett, Joan Diouf, Shannon Graham, April Griffin, Melody Hardy, Sheray Harrison, Tyrone Henry, Linda Jones, Tammy Kennedy, Michelle McCoy, Tonia Mullins, Betty Murray, Leatha Slatton, Donna Stewart, Ruth Willis, Kai Wingo, Joanne Hawk, Kimberly Loyed, and Vicky Trotter.

Dr. House Receives A Key To City of Louisville, Kentucky and a Standing Ovation

Dr. Bessie House served as the keynote speaker for Minority Enterprise Development Initiative celebrations that took place in Hopkinsville, Kentucky during the week of October 16 through October 21, 2006.

The highlight for the week of activities was the Annual Awards Dinner which took place on the evening of Tuesday, October 17, 2006, and Dr. House was the keynote speaker for this grand event. The Awards Dinner took place this year at the James E. Bruce Convention Center at 6:00 P.M. The theme for the Annual Awards Dinner focused on how diversity is such a tremendous asset in a worldwide economy that is growing more interconnected.

Dr. House was also a panelist at the Town Hall Meeting which focused on Challenges Facing Women and Minority-Owned Businesses on Monday, October 16, 2006 from 5:30 P.M. -7:00 P.M.

While there, Dr. House was presented the key to Louisville, Kentucky in honor of all the work she has done in helping entrepreneurs reach their full potential and realize their dreams, no matter how large or small their ideas may have been. The crowd, inspired by Dr. House's speech, gave her a standing ovation.

Dear Dr. House

In this section of our newsletter, we present a marvelous letter from a hopeful future student of the E-Academy by the name of Ayesha Drake El. All of us at the centers wish her the best of luck in achieving her goals.

Hi Dr. House,

I met you years ago during Kwanzaa at the Glenville Y. I was unable to attend your graduate workshops at the time but I held on to your brochure. Things have changed in my life which has only brought me closer to focusing on what I would like to do with the rest of my life. So here I am ready to learn more about your programs, workshops and I went online and I see that you have an E-Academy.

Please send me more information via email, phone or address. I need to really start moving in my life to get my dreams and aspirations up and running. I have been sitting on them for 15-10 years - too long. But, the time is definitely NOW for me!

Thank you very much for your inspiration and I wish you FURTHER success.

Ayesha Drake El

Dear Ayesha:

Thanks for your lovely letter. I am passing it on to our office manager, Mr. Andre Bustamante. He will be contacting you to let you know about our next set of scheduled classes and we would love to see you in these classes.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend.

Dr. Bessie House
The Entrepreneurial Academy
And Executive Director and Founder
The Center for the Study and Development of Minority Businesses
Kent State University

Veterans Business Symposium, November 14th

The Veterans Business Symposium in Elyria, Ohio (Cleveland area) is on Tuesday, November 14. This conference is for you if you are a veteran or an active member of the military.

For the fourth year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center of Ohio (PTAC) are bringing together a variety of resources for veterans or active members of the military. These resources include government agency contracting officers, buyers from large businesses and experts to address your business start-up and growth needs. The event has grown to attract 300-400 veterans from a 5-6 state area.

We will have a variety of Federal agencies present along with many large business sponsors, including Invacare, Rockwell, COSE, FirstEnergy and Applied Industrial, several banks and more to come! Our premier sponsors again this year are Lorain National Bank and Lorain County Community College.

You may register now by visiting and clicking on the registration button on the left side of the page.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Jane Stewart at the PTAC The contact number for the conference is 216-522-4167 .

Quick Links
  • The CSDMB
  • E-Academy
  • B. House Communications, Inc.
  • The Dr. House Minority Business Blog
  • In Closing
    Finally, we at the Center For The Study and Development of Minority Businesses and Entrepreneurial Academy want to make a call out to any former student of our Center. If you move or have some other method of contact, please notify us! We love hearing about your new businesses, business plans, and any other successes that you might be experiencing. If you could send us a recent photograph and a small description of your success, we will include them in one of our upcoming editions of Entrepreneurial Alternatives.

    There are individuals in our class that we have not heard from since they stopped attending; keep in touch! Contact information is at the bottom of this blog.


    Dr. Bessie House
    Director, The Center for the Study and Development of Minority Businesses
    Director, The Entrepreneurial Academy


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