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Creating a Social Venture

Last Sunday we came closer to helping the SEEDs women realize their entrepreneurial dreams. We are closing in on one over-arching business that will contain all the others and help make SEEDs self-sufficient. Tasks have been assigned in the writing of a business plan that will contain plans for both profit and mission.

In the mean time, we are all bonding. The women have been through so much!

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Why we are doing this…

“Well, I’ve read the blog. Does that make me a blogger? I was going to respond on the page about exactly how incredible you, Phil and Ed are! I’m not sure if you really have any idea how these women are really feeling and what you are all doing for them. I get to sit with them afterwards and talk to them. Whether they open a business for themselves after these classes are over is not the only way their lives will probably forever change. They truly are so grateful for this opportunity and the fact you all take this time to meet with them on a Sunday. They obviously realize Sunday is a day that could be spent on non-working time.”

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Progress at the SEEDS House

Yesterday at the SEEDS House, the entire FastTrac facilitation team (Ed, Phil, and Francine) helped the women in the house, which is a safe house for recovering victims of domestic violence, articulate their business concepts. These women are wonderful, but they are struggling in dead-end jobs to support themselves and their children. They graciously agreed to be a pilot program for the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation. Every Sunday afternoon we sit down with them and help them create business plans. Once we have the plans, we will use our networks to get the plans funded. That’s the mission of the Foundation — to provide Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship for economically disadvantaged populations.

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Our Pilot Program Has Begun

Ed and I kicked off the Pilot Program at the Phoenix SEEDS house yesterday afternoon. There are a dozen women in the program, and the Executive Director, Mona Lou Callery, also has good business ideas. We are going to go in two directions: 1) establishing a business that will suppport SEEDs itself, and 2) working with women residents who wish to try to achieve self-sufficiency and opportunity through entrepreneurship.

We are using the First Step FastTrac materials. Our goal with this pilot program is to see if we can get Mona Lou up and running with one of her business ideas, and to sow the seeds of entrepreneurship in as many of the women as want to be entrepreneurs.

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Exciting News About the Next OTEF Conferences

OTEF is not a traditional charity, it’s a nonprofit dedicated to teaching entrepreneurship skills, and we are trying to develop into a true social venture: a business with a double bottom line (a mission and a margin). We have two annual fundraisers, both of which are educational.