Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Progress Playbook: Teaching Entrepreneurship to Brownsville's Youth

Introduced by Lloyd Cambridge, a Brownsville native, in July of 2015, Progress Playbook is an entrepreneurship workshop that is geared towards customizing business start-up techniques specifically for targeted audience.

Why Progress Playbook was created:
Mr. Cambridge, growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, always wanted to start his own business but felt as though he did not have the support, resources, confidence, or education to able to achieve such a goal.  He noticed the reasons behind his feelings as a child after working at an organization called NYC business solutions, which is an organization that offers business education to those who wish to start their own businesses. There he noticed that there were gaps in the marketplace as far as who, and how people were being educated for business. He observed that business classes were very uniform and did not meet the needs of all aspiring entrepreneurs. He decided to be an agent of change and that’s how Progress Playbook came along. Progress playbook provides a customized learning experience based on demographic, industry, location, and many other determining factors. Every approach is unique to the circumstances, thereby making Progress Playbook a one of a kind business education curriculum

Progress playbook is dedicated to servicing the community; working closely with non-profit and government agencies like BCJC.

What did young people enrolled learn in the Progress Playbook workshops?
The Progress Playbook course taught at BCJC was call “Start an Empire”. The goal was that participants would practice being an entrepreneur in real life, and for this to be mixed with business education. Essentially, the course would be a hands-on business crash course. Participants were broken into small groups of two so that they were able to brainstorm and create their businesses together. The classroom curriculum was broken into 5 parts.

Part 1. CORE: The first two weeks of this course was centered around created a business mindset and developing the psychology of being a business owner. Questions we asked were: What kind of mindset does a business owner have? They are prepared, resilient, and determined among many other things.

Part 2. PRODUCT: In this two-week session of the course, participants were asked to develop products or serviced that matched consumer demand. Some interesting ideas that participants developed were mattress cleaning, apparel companies, and a beauty salon.

Part 3. MARKETING: In this section of the curriculum, participants were taught how to gain exposure and market their product. How do we gain exposure for our products? Social media networking, face to face networking, events, commercial advertisements.

Part 4. FUNDING: Participants were educated on how they can get access to funding, whether that be from crowd funders, micro lenders, loans, investors, or from personal funds. They were provided with interactive worksheets to map out how to finance their own businesses.

Part 5. OPERATIONS & PROTECTIONS: Participants learned how to manage their businesses on a day to day basis and how to protect their businesses with legal insurance.

In summary, participants were able to get involved in hands on experience, and professional entrepreneurship classes that will enable them to get their own businesses started. Some participants have even started taking the steps necessary to start planning the launch of their own businesses. We are confident that we will see them showcasing their product to the public very soon!