The 2021 Prototype Fair

It hard to believe the 2021 Cohort is already at the halfway mark of the program and we’re starting our fair season!

2021 Fair Dates

Please mark your calendar for the ‘Fall 4 Small’ Business Fair on October 16th, and the ‘Celebrate Small Business Fair on December 4th. The fairs will be held at Historic Macedonia AME from 10-2 (rain date is one week later for each fair).

To register as a vendor, email lwardlee@1000dollarstartups.org or call the office at 904-432-7760.

2021 Cohort Graduation

The 2021 Cohort will celebrate their graduation at the first fair of 2022, which will also launch registration for the 2022 Program.

Recap of the 2021 Prototype Fair

The Prototype Fair provides the opportunity to display for those members of the cohort who are ready to transition the business concept they’ve been working on since April from Virtual Incubator to physical reality. We held our Prototype Fair at Historic Macedonia AME Church on July 31, 2021.

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2021 $1,000 Start-Ups Program Changes

We want to share with you a few of the things we learned from our 2020 Pilot Class that we’ve incorporated into the 2021 $1,000 Start-Ups Program to make it even better.

Reduced Homework to Once a Week

For the 2021 class we’ve combined some of the classes but only provide new material and homework once a week. In the second weekly session we work through issues class members are having as they progress. We also have student presentations of related material, guest speakers, field trips, and class events.

For the 2020 Pilot we offered Entrepreneurship Training on Wednesdays and Financial Management and Lifeskills Training on Saturdays. Having two classes a week, each with homework, resulted in some students not having the chance to really apply the lessons to the businesses they were starting.

Broadened Marketing Reach

We’ve broadened our reach in the local community. In 2020 we had two Facebook posts that were shared. For the 2021 program we developed a marketing campaign that went on for more than a month. As a result our 2021 program reached a broader audience and our students were those who’d been already working on or thinking about starting a business.

Grant Criteria

3. Our grant distribution is now based on need and participation. During the 2020 program every participant, regardless of need recieved up to a $1,000 as long as they continued their progress of establishing a business. We found those who didn’t need the funding didn’t practice the same level of diligence and often made personal investments in their businesses prior to building the infrastructure necessary to grow their businesses to the next level.

In the 2021 program we are providing grants based on need and emphasizing the wisdom for bootstrapping. We’re also reinforcing the importance of slow steady growth with enough cycles of learning to reduce risk. Additionally we’ve enhanced the classes on building infrastructure to include job descriptions in addition to standard operating procedures.

Memories from the 2020 $1,000 Start-Up Pilot

Thank you to everyone who joined us on the $1,000 Start-Ups journey during the 2020 pilot. Thanks to your support, six local businesses were started, more than 30 area businesses displayed with us at our Small Business Fairs, and The $1,000 Start-Ups Consortium of small businesses those who support them continues to grow.

As we begin to launch the 2021 program, I thought you’d enjoy this photographic chronicle of the the 2020 Protoype Fair and three Small Business Fairs.

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Florida Weather: The Poster Child for Unpredicability (Why You Need A Plan)

Early Saturday morning on November 21st, board members from The $1,000 Start-Ups Consortium were on the move preparing for the final event for the class of 2020. The program, launched in April 2020, promotes economic opportunity by providing entrepreneurship and financial management training and grants to members of historically marginalized communities.

By 6 AM, one of the board’s directors, Pastor Anthony Daniel of Macedonia AME was on the road from his home in St. Augustine. He was headed to his church in Fernandina Beach where the outdoor and socially distanced event would take place.

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Where We Started

For more than twenty years Leah Ward-Lee, a successful management consultant, boarded a plane every Sunday night, flew to a distant city, spent the week working at a client site and flew home on Friday. 

Five nights a week in a hotel room gave her a lot of time to think about her clients’ businesses and business in general.  In guiding her clients, she knew that every business went through stages and that there were commonalities among those that passed through each stage successfully.

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