May 09, 2007

March 19th Blog

March 19th, 2007

We are delighted to present you with our 20th issue of Entrepreneurial Alternatives Newsletter and our fourth issue of 2007. Our theme for this edition is "The Power of Positive Thinking." We would like to thank you for all of the positive emails and calls that we receive. We thank you because positivity is essential for success. Les Brown says: "No matter how many positive comments people give you, it's always the negative comment that sticks in your mind. "

We continue to expand our research activities and business training programs for 2007. I can honestly say that I have never been more excited, motivated, and dedicated to continuing to enhance entrepreneurial development in our region, our state, and our nation. I am very happy that I continue to get more invitations to speak in cities all over the United States. Later this week, I will speaking in Los Angeles, California and in Springfield, Massachusetts next week. Our readership for our newsletter has also expanded dramatically and we are also receiving more letters from people from all across America as well and this is also a source of delight. In the Dear Dr. House section of our newsletter, we present a letter from a very amazing gentleman in Chicago, Illinois.

I am happy to inform you that I have transferred the administrative offices of the Entrepreneurial Academy from Cleveland, Ohio to Euclid, Ohio. We will maintain a training site in the Empowerment Zone. More information about our new location and upcoming activities will be discussed later in this newsletter. I want to thank so many of you for continuing to send us so many wonderful letters of encouragement and support and it means a great deal to us. Moreover, I am delighted to report that we receive calls almost every single day from numerous individuals who want to enroll in our business training programs. We remain doubly excited about this!

We are looking for volunteers for both of our centers. If you are interested in volunteering, please call our Kent center at 330.672.5307 or our Cleveland center at 216.731.4426.

In this edition, we provide you with the completion of James McQuiston's Top Ten Tips for Internet Businesses, information about my speech in Los Angeles for the National Black MBA asssociation, information about the new location of the offices of the Entrepreneurial Academy, information about Dr. House's new book on African American Entrepreneurship to be published in 2008, a reminder about the upcoming Health Legacy Award and Scholarship dinner, and our "Dear Dr. House" letters. We hope that you enjoy this edition.

Quote of the Week

"If it's not broken, don't fix it."

---The Late Mrs. Bessie Annie Fannings---
(Dr. House's grandmother)

Top Ten Tips for Internet Businesses
by James McQuiston

The Internet has an economy that is ever increasing. It does not take much work to receive considerable funds from the internet. In some cases, individuals can make more in the way of funds from the internet than they can running a brick and mortar store. I have operated an internet business since 1998, with the online version of my magazine, NeuFutur ( ) . Here are some tips, to be given out in the next few weeks.

1) Create a website for your business. The cost to buy a domain (the "name" of your website), coupled with internet hosting (the space where all your files reside) is much less than individuals would think. When I purchased a website for our own Dr. House, for example, the total bill was around $50 for one year’s worth of service. That was using . However, one can find a slightly better deal at, where an equivalent package costs around $40 One should choose a package based on the level of comfort that one has with the company.

2) If you have tangible goods, use eBay ( ) as a way to pander your goods. eBay is a great service for individuals to connect to individuals that may want your goods, but are removed geographically from your brick and mortar location. For example, I run a magazine that receives CDs for review. By putting the CDs that we have reviewed up online, we are able to generate revenues around $600 a month.

If you sell clothing, art, or anything tangible, eBay could be an easy way to supplement a brick & mortar location’s rent. eBay revenues can be enough to supplant a brick and mortar location. Just think about it this way, an eBay business requires nothing in the way of set up costs beyond having a computer, internet access, and a camera to take pictures.

3) Sign up for PayPal ( ) and Google Checkout ( ). These services allow individuals that use some form of monetary transaction to go forth and receive funds. While the use of Paypal and Google Checkout is typically tied to individuals that have goods to sell, non-profits can also elicit funds from individuals through Paypal. Google Checkout is a service that is in beta (which means that the service is stable, but is still being tested by engineers) but provides new sign-ups with a $10 credit towards any purchases (office supplies, for example). Regardless of the promotions tied to them, they are both good services with which to be familiar.

4)One can reduce the overhead from the costs of a traditional business setup immensely if they remove the brick and mortar component from their minds. Sure, it is nice to brag about if one has a storefront, but a lot of things have to be taken into consideration. Can you find a babysitter or time away from another job to sit at the store? If you hire individuals, will they be trustworthy? Running a store or business venture from the home is a better idea due to a number of facts. These facts include that there are no rental fees for the office space, no electricity or heating concerns beyond what is paid normally at the house. There is a larger audience for your wares. While office space cheap enough for a start-up company may be located far from busy thoroughfares, any one of a billion or so internet-surfing individuals may happen upon a company’s website.

5)After one has purchased hosting and a good domain name, enter your websites into various indices. Google, Yahoo, Netscape and the like. Each of those websites has an "add a link" section for free that one can provide information about their ventures. Doing so will make it easier for individuals that are looking for what one is providing, and this increases the probability that individuals will purchase one’s wares or otherwise support one’s venture. An addition to social networking sites ( , , ) about one’s venture or creating a profile based purely around the venture is also recommended.

6)The creation of a website for one’s company is essential in this day and age. There are enough websites online, such as Lissa Explains ( ) and HTML Help ( ) that will provide individuals with information how to make a crisp, attractive website. Services like the aforementioned Godaddy and 1+1 have HTML editors, and there is a program called First Page ( ) that is free that will allow business owners to make even the most difficult pages. A website does not need to be flashy, but should show what the company is offering, what it costs, and why an individual should purchase from that company instead of others.

7)While individuals may be able to go forth and purchase everything they need to create a web presence and also be able to program their own websites, they may not be able to reach a large segment of the populace as easy as they should. One may want to create a line in a company’s budget for an individual capable in the field of SEO (search engine optimization). The individual can create language in a company’s website that allow for individuals to more easily find the website amongst the hundreds of thousands of websites that are pandering goods and services that are similar, if not the same as, what the company provides.

8)Turn-around time is key. Make sure that responding to e-mails is a common part of a company’s daily routine. Individuals do not have the patience to wait three or four days to receive a response from a company. A competitor is not in another town or state, but rather is a click or two away. Checking email three or more times a day is a good amount, and allows for emails to be quickly and accurately answered without the responses seeming rushed or created on shaky ground.

9)While one can move most of one's company out of the material world, there are still times where having a business card or address stamp will be beneficial. Luckily for the thrifty and internet-savvy entrepreneur, there are companies online that will provide office supplies for cheap or at a free level. Both Vistaprint ( ) and iPrint ( ) have specials. Vistaprint will send 250 business cards to a company with only a little advertisement on the back of the card for shipping (around $6), while iPrint has specials every few months that provide a business stamp for the same general price. Use these places and one’s overhead will decrease as well.

10)Finally, ensure that any online presence is up to date. A number of websites keep old prices or inventory on their websites even though the prices or the stock have long gone. E-mailing a customer and informing them that the item is no longer in stock is not good business, as individuals will tend to look elsewhere from then on. Even though the business does not have a brick and mortar location, the "virtual" place of business should be at least as formal as the actual place of business. Making sure that individuals are kep up to date will only increase sales.

Contacting the e-mail present at the end of the blog is a good way to get in touch with him, should anyone have questions about his tips. James McQuiston is the graduate assistant at the Center for Minority Business. He is a Ph.D. student in Political Science at Kent State University, and teaches classes on e-commerce and internet business at both the Center for Minority Business and Entrepreneurial Academy.

Dr. House to Speak at the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Black M.B.A. Association

Dr. Bessie House To Speak To the Los Angeles chapter of the National Black M.BA. Association in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Bessie House will make a presentation entitled, "The Ten Personality Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs" for the Los Angeles chapter of the National Black MBA Association in Los Angeles, California on Thursday, March 22nd 2007, from 7 to 9 P.M.. The Los Angeles division of the National Black MBA Association was founded in 1979 and today boasts over 500 members.

Dr. House is a member of the Advisory Board of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the National Black MBA Association. The Cleveland Chapter has received the chapter of the Award from the National Black MBA Association for three consecutive years.

Dr. House's presentation is based on information from her fourth book by the same title in which she discusses the importance of having strong psychological capital. In her presentation, she will define what psychological capital is, identify the ten personality characteristics of successful black entrepreneurs, and explain why the attainment of these traits has been so very challenging for people of color. She will also explain how to incorporate these traits into your current personality profile if they are noticeably absent.

Dr. House is an award-wining author and poet, television show host, dynamic public speaker, administrator, inventor, entrepreneur, and widely recognized expert on entrepreneurship and economic development. She is the President and CEO of NCE, Inc, the Executive Director and Founder of the Center for the Study and Development of Minority Businesses at Kent State University and the Director of the Entrepreneurial Academy. Under her strong leadership, the centers have produced award-winning research, award-winning curricular materials, and training programs. More recently, the Entrepreneurial Academy was selected as a finalist for Northern Ohio Live Magazines' Awards of Achievement in the category of Urban Issues.

Dr. House has written four books, numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book, "Confronting the Odds: African American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio" which received the coveted Henry Howe Book Award. A much sought-after public speaker and presenter, she has made numerous public presentations to diverse audiences in the United States and abroad. Dr. House will be autographing and signing copies of all of her books, as well as her audiobook.

If you would like a copy of Dr. House's audiobook and cannot attend the meeting, please e-mail for instructions on how to purchase a copy.
The Entrepreneurial Academy Transfers Its Administrative Offices to Euclid; Training Site to Remain in Empowerment Zone

Entrepreneurial Alternatives is pleased to announce that the Entrepreneurial Academy has transferred its' administrative offices to Euclid, Ohio. A training site for the E-Academy will still be maintained, however in the Empowerment zone communities of Hough, Glenville, Fairfax, or the Midtown Corridor. The location of the new training site will be publicized very soon. The new address of the administrative offices is 25000 Euclid Avenue, Suite 206. According to Dr. Bessie House, the Director of the Entrepreneurial Academy, "we moved our administrative offices to Euclid, Ohio in order to best respond to the growing needs of our constituents. Although the Entrepreneurial Academy was originally created to respond to the needs of residents of the Empowerment Zone communities of Cleveland, Ohio, the E-Academy has received a tremendous demand pull in recent years from many residents who live outside of the Empowerment Zone. In fact, there is hardly a single day that goes by when we do not receive phone calls from individuals who want to enroll in our business training classes and many of these individuals live outside of the zone. To date, we have almost 300 people on our waiting lists to take our upcoming business classes and the demand pull continues to grow. We are also restructuring our centers so that we can maximize our impact and program delivery for the 21st century and beyond. In order words, we will to continue to provide business training to residents of the Empowerment Zone communities, but we will also provide services to those who live outside the Empowerment Zones communities as well."

According to Dr. House, "We are delighted to respond to the increased popularity and visibility of our centers. People find out about us in many ways. In some cases, they have seen us on television or read about the success of our programs in the newspapers. We also get many referrals from our former graduates of the Entrepreneurial Academy, former graduates of the Center for Minority Businesses at Kent State University, residents of Cleveland and surrounding communities, as well as from members of the Cleveland city council and our partnering community development organizations in Cleveland."

The new phone numbers for the Entrepreneurial Academy are as follows: main office number (216) 731-4426; fax number (216) 731-4617. If you call our old number of (216) 541-4140, you will also be provided with our new phone number as well. We will announce our upcoming schedules for our business training classes for this year in our upcoming newsletters. We look forward to seeing you in our business training classes for 2007.
Kent State University Press to Publish the 2nd Edition of Confronting The Odds

Kent State University Press has announced its' plans to publish the 2nd Edition of "Confronting the Odds", Dr. House's seminal work on African American entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio. The 2nd Edition of the book will include an updated history of African American businesses and the African American community in Cleveland from 1795-2007 along with additional life histories of successful entrepreneurs, new public policy recommendations an additional information. The release of the 2nd edition is slated for 2008.

The first edition of "Confronting the Odds", published in 2003, experienced many successes. It was the recipient of the Henry Howe Book Award, received much favorable press coverage in several major newspapers and sold several thousand copies. According to Dr. Juliet E.K. Walker, one of the foremost experts on Black business history and entrepreneurship in the United States, "Confronting the Odds: African American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio" provides one of the first systematic studies of the historical development of black business history in an American city. Proceeding from a multidisciplinary perspective in conceptualization, analysis, and methodology, this compelling well-written assessment provides a wealth of data, concluding with valuable and insightful public policy recommendations for black business activity in the twenty-first century. [It is] a well-conceived study that will have a significant place in the expanding field of both historical and contemporary assessments of black business activity in American cities. A must read for scholars, businesspeople and public policy analysts.'

To purchase a copy of Confronting The Odds: African-American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio for personal or classroom use, please contact Dr. Bessie House at 330.672.5307 or email her at

Please also contact Dr. House if you have any information, pictures, or experiences relevant to the subject matter of the work. Look for additional information in following issues of Entrepreneurial Alternatives.
The third annual Health Legacy of Cleveland (HLC) Award and Scholarship Dinner will be held on Sunday, April 29, 2007.

The third annual Health Legacy of Cleveland (HLC) Award and Scholarship Dinner will be held on Sunday, April 29, 2007, at 6 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. The event is held annually to raise awareness for the importance of diversity in medicine and dentistry in Northeast Ohio.

Cleveland Clinic will serve as the event's presenting sponsor, honoring Jefferson J. Jones, D.M.D., the first African-American endodontist (root canal specialist) in Ohio, with the Award for Excellence. In addition, scholarships will be awarded to African-American students pursuing careers in medicine and dentistry who intend to return to the Cleveland area to practice.

Delos Cosgrove, M.D., president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, is serving as general chair of the event. Anthony Stallion, M.D., staff, Pediatric Surgery and Pathobiology, at Cleveland Clinic, and A. Gus. Kious, M.D., president of Huron Hospital, are serving as Honorary Chairs.

The HLC Award for Excellence honors the living legacy of African-American physicians and dentists who have served the Cleveland area in their professions and provided mentoring and role models for the community's youth. In 2007, this award program will reach out to the broader community that supports diversity and education and the programming that inspires diverse young people to pursue careers in medicine and dentistry in the northeast Ohio region.

High school scholarship applicants include Cleveland Municipal School District students pursuing health careers, as well as medical and dental school students from the Cleveland area who intend to return to Northeast Ohio to practice.

Individual seating for the dinner begins at $150 Corporate sponsorships begin at $1,500 and are available for company tables, student seating, scholarships and programming in education or diversity. Online event registration and scholarship applications are available online at

About Jefferson J. Jones, D.M.D. Jefferson J. Jones, D.M.D., is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Endodontics at Case Western Reserve University School of Dentistry, Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Jones has a strong interest in Minority Recruitment and Graduation for the Dental School and for the University. He has been on the faculty for thirty-five years and Department Chair for the last twenty-four years.

About Health Legacy of Cleveland

Health Legacy of Cleveland, founded in 1993, is one of the few African-American founded nonprofit foundations that awards scholarships to African American students pursing professions as physicians and dentists who intend to return to the greater Cleveland area to practice. Its mission is to increase the pool of African American physicians and dentists in the Greater Cleveland area.

Contact Information:

Cynthia Clark
Health Legacy of Cleveland
P O Box 201519
Cleveland, OH 44120

PHONE. 216 621-1933
FAX. 216 621-4174
Dear Dr. House

Dear Dr. House:

You never cease to amaze and inspire me with your facility for promotion and communications. You are certainly adept at getting the word out about your program. As a former economic development director of Maywood, I am well-versed in the dynamics of economic development from the SBA to EDA to boot-strap entrepreneurship. I served in the 1990’s as a SBA 8(a) Contractor consultant. I was successful in getting business plans approved on four occasions.

I also served as a federal contract investigator for U.S. D.A. Farm Service: I investigated black farmer discrimination complaints under the ECOA (Equal Credit Opportunity Act), and ADA complaints. I also investigated minority contracting opportunities in Oak Ridge Tennessee, participating as marketing rep for a 8(a) certified engineering firm. I worked for Lockheed Martin Energy Systems on a contract which built a business model for Minority Educational Institutions (MEI) to perform technology transfer and commercialization of new licensed technologies developed at MEI’s. My ambition is to partner with you on a venture which takes a new technology developed at Dartsmouth U. and creates a new company to pursue oil mining and oil-sands extraction in the Northwest and Trinidad. One objective will be development of black-owned bio-fuel gas stations in the African-American community.

I would cherish an opportunity to work with you personally on development of this opportunity. . Let’s get together this year (and give Adrianna my regards!)

You are certainly the best,

Ralph W. Conner
Local Legislation Manager
The Heartland Institute

Dear Mr. Conner:

Thank you so very much for your spectacular letter and your warm remarks. It is a pleasure to hear from you. I am very much energized and excited about your project on helping black businesses to create bio-fuel gas stations in various communities in the Northwest and Trinidad. It sounds very exciting and is certainly cutting-edge work. I would love to talk to you about it and will have my secretary to contact you today to set up a mutually agreed upon time when we can have a conference call to get more information about this exciting project.

All the best,

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

Quick Links
# 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.

Our demand pull is high, and we cannot conceivably get everything that we would like done without your aid. We are looking for volunteers for both of our centers. If you are interested in volunteering for us, please call our Kent center at 330.672.5307 or our Cleveland center at 216.731.4426.

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
phone: 330-672-5307


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