Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Donnetta Watson, Founder of The Black MasterMind Group, located in Kansas City, KS, USA.
What's your organization, and who are your members?
The Black MasterMind Group is a 501c3 Charitable Foundation operating from its home base in Kansas City. We are in the business of educating, training, coaching, mentoring, and developing the Black Entrepreneurial Community to start, stabilize, sustain, and scale businesses. We are an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem that provides a holistic approach to developing fundable business models. We call it "Running the Business by the Numbers."
Tell us about yourself
I am a 38-year entrepreneur. Throughout my life, I have been every type of entrepreneur, i.e., a mompreneur, dualpreneur, intrapreneur, and finally, in 2013, a Full-Time Entrepreneur. When my job as a Management Statistician for the Census Bureau ended on December 31, 2012, I went full-time into business on January 31, 2012. I eventually opened three event venues in my city and soon realized I had created a labor-based business model that was considered seasonal by lenders.
After $350,000 of my money, my husband's, and my family's money, I closed the doors in 2017. Thank God I had graduated from Joseph Business School in 2008 and had spent ten years teaching and mentoring entrepreneurs that I had an insight into why our businesses were failing. Lack of knowledge of the fundamental of business and lack of knowledge on how to access capital. My personal experience and the experiences of other Black entrepreneurs helped me create The Business Mastery Institute BootCamp program.
We teach what is referred to as "Entrepreneurial Financial Literacy." When students complete our program, they have the fundamentals to present to a lender for funding. They have the business strategies, the financial documents, and the business language to intelligently discuss their business financial position and goals with a lender. These are the key missing elements that limit Black entrepreneurs from accessing capital.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Training over 100 Black Entrepreneurs and having over 87 of them graduate to date and seeing 2 of the Black Entrepreneurs generating revenues of 1.8 and 2.4mil respectively. Providing loan prep sessions where 5 of the Black Entrepreneurs be able to access the 15K Empower Loan in Kansas City, Kansas. With 10 more Black Entrepreneurs going through loan prep sessions to prepare them to present their business to a loan board to achieve access to a first-time loan fund.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a 501c3, raising funds have been our greatest challenge. Fundraising is a full-time job; without funding, we can only guess how long we can continue this very important work we do. I have chosen to keep working and stay committed to our journey of impacting Black Entrepreneurs, and eventually, we will get the opportunity to present to the right funders to keep our program doors open.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Business is not to be entered into lightly. This means take time and do your homework. Get in a program similar to the BootCamp that will give you the skillsets necessary to start a fundable business model. Businesses are not to be run on cash or revenues.
- Running a business requires skillsets. You cannot be an employee on Friday and a CEO on Monday without enhancing your skillsets. There are rules to the game of business. Many never make it because they are violating business rules - and being penalized even though they do not know the rules. Ignorance of business is not excusable. Trust me; the IRS will tell you that.
- Humble yourself in getting into a class or program that will provide you with the insight necessary to run a business, not a hobby, a hookup, or a hustle, but a financially solid business.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We are excited to be doing this work to help strengthen our Entrepreneurial Communities across the nation. Our BootCamp program is LIVE in our office in the Entrepreneurial Resource and Training Center and virtual via zoom each week. Our next Cohort begins September 19th, where we will offer classes six days a week. We are grateful to be here post-COVID and creating more opportunities for Black Entrepreneurs across the nation. For more information about us, please feel free to contact us at 913-371-0302 or email@example.com
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.
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