Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in training and education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tasha Penwell, Founder of Bytes and Bits, located in Gallipolis, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Computer training focuses on basic computer skills to more advanced ones like web development and cloud computing. The target audience is those who live in rural Ohio or West Virginia and are interested in improving their computer skills but do not have the means or opportunity for traditional education.
Tell us about yourself
I know the value of education. As a non-traditional student who finished my degrees balancing work full-time and family, I understand the value of education and the opportunities that come with it. “Education equals Opportunities” is the mantra I share, with emphasis that education can take many forms thanks to today’s digital resources. I'm a college educator teaching topics ranging from web development to data analytics, AWS cloud computing, and more. I have a passion for helping people find that spark of excitement in their personal interests and fan that flame of growth in their education. I strongly believe that education can have a pivotal effect on a person’s confidence, growth, and success. I have witnessed first-hand how breaking the “cycle of poverty” can help families grow - which in turn helps communities thrive and succeed. That is why I started Bytes and Bits with the mission to “Stay, Study, Succeed in Rural Ohio.”
In addition to traditional education, I am an advocate for non-traditional learning. Using resources like Google’s Applied Digital Skills curriculum, learning no longer has to be dependent on college essays, admissions, or tuition costs. I provide instruction and access to these classes at no charge to drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics and community shelters. I am currently in the progress of working with incarcerated individuals as well. My goal is to help these individuals to grow in confidence and interests and find a better path than what led them to where they are today.
I'm a proud graduate of Keller Graduate School of Management and the University of Rio Grande. I'm also an AWS Solutions Architect, AWS Educator, and Google Applied Digital Skills Ambassador.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to achieve partnerships with organizations like EC-Council and Grow with Google to provide resources to learners in the community.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Overcoming imposter syndrome if I should be the person doing this.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't pigeonhole yourself.
- Be open to new opportunities, even if you're not sure where they will lead.
- To quote Richard Branson, it's okay to say, "Screw it, let's do it." In other words, don't talk yourself out of something or be afraid to be the change you want to see.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
My goal is to start in-person teaching in mid to late October. Due to holidays, it may also be the start of the New Year.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.