Co Starters

The Real Rebuilding Will Begin after the Election, and it Will Start with Entrepreneurs, Economic Developers, and Ecosystem Builders

Co Starters

Here’s the good news: One way or another, the 2020 election will be over soon. . Here’s the bad news: This election will leave scars, and we have a lot of things that need to be fixed. The past few years have left a lot of people, locally and nationally, asking “What’s next?”. Here’s what’s next:

Clearing a Path Toward Equity Through Entrepreneurship

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CASE STUDY. Forward Cities + The Corner. New Kensington, Pennsylvania. By partnering with two collaborative national networks, community builders in New Kensington, PA were able to provide more equitable entrepreneurship opportunities for local residents.

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I’m Ready to Get Creative With My Business. Now Where Do I Start?

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What is design thinking, anyway? Hopefully by now you’ve read our recap of Shelley Prevost’s stellar talk on how to get yourself calm. As she explained, it’s imperative to reach a place of calm before you shoot for creativity.

Entrepreneurs and Economic Developers Both Want to Make a Difference in their Community. Here are Practical Ways they Can Improve their Collaboration.

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Part six of a series from our founder on exploring a new approach to economic development that places individuals, families, and entrepreneurs at the center. . By Enoch Elwell. At CO.STARTERS, our team has the privilege of working with several groups of transformational leaders.

The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

Business and Entrepreneurship Will Play a Critical Role in Creating a Better World. Here’s How.

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By Enoch Elwell. Open your phone, select your favorite feed, and start scrolling. If you think hard about what you are seeing and reading, one thing is abundantly clear: We are on the brink of an unfamiliar world. Most of us are standing on the edge, trying to peer over and see what that brand-new world will look like. Will there be economic opportunity for all? Will there finally be equity in healthcare?

Economic Developers Cannot Just Rely on Corporate Recruitment. They Have to Grow Their Own Ecosystem.

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Part five of a series from our founder on exploring a new approach to economic development that places individuals, families, and entrepreneurs at the center. . By Enoch Elwell. During the nineties, the Chicago Bulls dominated the NBA by focusing primarily on developing homegrown talent.

CO.STARTERS Launches New Initiative Focused on Small Business Recovery

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A five-step Road to Recovery framework to help entrepreneurs adapt now and for the future. CO.STARTERS has always been about helping entrepreneurs get unstuck. In fact, since 2008 we’ve guided more than 12,000 aspiring business owners through the process of launching or growing their ventures.

What is a Starter?

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Why talking about “starters” more than “startups” can change the way you view entrepreneurship. By Enoch Elwell. Words are powerful, and they shape our perception of reality. But how much can the perception of one word impact the activities associated with it?

Black Dreams Matter, Every Day

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Meet Nine Black Business Starters Who are Paving the Way for Dreams. This month in the U.S. we marked Juneteenth, a day where we celebrate freedom and fight for progress. We still have a lot of work ahead of us as we fight for racial equity and economic justice, and we believe our role is to use entrepreneurship as a powerful tool to build a more equitable society.

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.

Good News from Small Business in the Time of COVID-19

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Nevertheless, We Rise. We at CO.STARTERS are in the trenches right now with the entire small business support community, slogging through red bottom lines, loan application purgatory, and a constant barrage of not-so-good news. What keeps us going? The fact that it’s not all bad news. In fact, through the ongoing conversations we’ve been having with community leaders and entrepreneurs across our network, we’re finding some increasingly bright spots emerging above the gloom. .

The Secret to Creativity Is Not What You Think

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What do you get when you cross an entrepreneur, an angel investor, and a psychologist? You get our latest guest in our Straight Talk With Starters series—Dr. Shelley Prevost of The Big Self School. Though Shelley has worn lots of hats over the years, from tech startup founder to Director of Happiness at a venture capital firm, she’s landed (for the moment) as an entrepreneur psychologist. .

We Created a Program to Help Businesses Rebuild. Here’s What We’ve Learned So Far.

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After nearly a decade of solely focusing on products and strategies to support new entrepreneurs, we at CO.STARTERS have expanded our focus to include existing businesses. This shift has been a long time coming, but it was certainly accelerated by the economic effects of COVID-19. .

Entrepreneurship is About Creation. Here’s Why We Need to Train Entrepreneurs to Create the Next Economy.

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Part four of a series from our founder on exploring a new approach to economic development that places individuals, families, and entrepreneurs at the center. . By Enoch Elwell. If we’ve spent time together—or if you read my blog posts—you will know that I don’t spend a lot of time on small talk. I am drawn to people who think about big ideas. I prefer to find out what drives a person or a community, to understand why we do what we do, and where that journey will take us.

Pressure Points: How to Ensure Your B2B Pipeline Passes Inspection

This eBook highlights best practices for developing a pipeline management process that helps sales leaders and their team C.L.O.S.E (you’ll see what we mean in this eBook) more revenue through data-driven prospecting, stage analysis, and subsequent sales enablement.

Fighting for our Soldiers: Action Zone // Tampa, Florida

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The military community is among the most neglected special interest groups in America—Veterans are disproportionately at risk for mental health disorders, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress, and traumatic brain injury as compared to the rest of the population.

Our Economy is Moving from the Industrial Age to the Connected Age. Here is What that Really Means.

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By Enoch Elwell. Beneath the tragedy and turmoil of 2020, there is a clear cry for something new. There is a cry to remove the social infrastructure that makes getting quality healthcare and relief from a raging pandemic often impossible. There is a cry for a society where your skills and talent—and not your skin color—determines your ability to achieve your potential. There is a cry to move from the broken economy we have to the resilient economy we need. How can we do that?

Soul Care for the Ecosystem Builder

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Shining a light on burnout among entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Burnout is not a new topic for the business world. The nature and risks of employee burnout have been extensively researched in relation to large corporations.

Moving Your Small Business Online

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What you need to do (and what you don’t) to sell in a digital world. COVID-19 has brought tech-stress to an all-time high among many entrepreneurs.

Marketing-Led Post-COVID-19 Growth Strategies

Businesses are laying off workers, shutting their doors (some permanently), and struggling to react to the radical destruction that coronavirus (COVID-19) is doing to our society and communities. Most have already sustained massive damage, and we still have yet to see the scope of impact of the global pandemic that has upended the globe. Any return to normalcy may seem far-off, but sales and marketing are on the front lines of restarting the economy. When the dust settles, we have a responsibility to turn our shock and grief into fierce determination, and lead the charge of responsible, strategic, sustainable future growth. However, there’s no team better suited to lead that charge than the marketing department. Marketers are uniquely positioned to provide creative solutions to aid their organization in times of change and chart a course for navigating success.

We Talked to 150 Entrepreneurs

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Here’s What We’re Learning about How to Survive. by David Kraus. Last week, Jose Alfaro led the CO.STARTERS team in hosting a series of virtual roundtables for entrepreneurs who feel stuck due to the COVID-19 crisis.

An Insider’s Guide to Getting Grants

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Tips For Grant Writing to Fund Your Community Work. by Rebekah Marr, CO.STARTERS Director of Operations & Programs. Finding funding is one of the biggest issues identified by community builders. This article is the second in a series focusing on practical ways for nonprofits to sustain their work. Some of you probably know me through my role at CO.STARTERS. I’m the person primarily responsible for developing our programs, tools, resources, and the supports to implement them. .

CO.STARTERS is a Small Business Too: Part I

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What we’re doing as a small business to survive the pandemic. By Jose Alfaro, CO.STARTERS COO. Adaptation isn’t something that happened once in March. It’s going to be a way of life for a while. We have published thousands of words about what small businesses should be doing right now in theory. But I want to go further and talk about the tactics of assessing, pivoting, and adapting. . “Go Go back to the basics,” we said. Think about how your customer has changed,” we advised. . “Be

Unsung Heroes of Ecosystem Building: Meet the Voices Championing “Universal Support”

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We are proud to sponsor this edition of “ Unsung Heroes ,” a series spotlighting people who are growing the field of ecosystem building. Written by Anika Horn and Jeff Bennett, the series introduces each of the seven ESHIP Goals (a collaborative framework) through the perspectives of Champions who are spearheading initiatives within each goal. Read the full series at Ecosystem Builder Hub.

How ZoomInfo Helps Overcome the Top Pain Points of Inside Sales

Recent digital transformation has shifted the B2B landscape by ushering in the era of buyer empowerment. With more access to user reviews, analyst opinion, and industry research, decision-makers are more informed than ever while navigating what is now known as the “buyer’s journey.”

CO.STARTERS is a Small Business Too: Part II

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The second in a series of inside tips on how we’re keeping our own small business going during the pandemic. Don’t shoot for creativity until you complete this important step. By Jose Alfaro, CO.STARTERS COO. In my last post , I wrote about the practice of assessment—assessment of both yourself and your business. It’s crucial to figure out where you are personally and what your finances look like before you start reaching out to customers.

Bridging the Rural Opportunity Gap

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Overlooked Aspects of Inclusion in Ecosystem Building, Part 3. This article is the third in a three-part series covering sometimes overlooked aspects of inclusion in entrepreneurial ecosystem building. Part one considers age inclusion. Part two explores how to have productive conversations about inclusion. Rural Innovation. Struggling rural economies present unique challenges to ecosystem builders.

Navigating the Stages of Community Growth

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A Model for Starting and Sustaining an Entrepreneurial Community. By Enoch Elwell. Entrepreneurial culture is changing. There’s something exciting afoot if you look through the negative national narrative on the decline of small cities and towns across the United States. Despite suffering significant economic loss which spawns a culture of grim survival, a growing number of communities are beginning to break free of the past in an unexpected comeback.

Serving the Underserved: The Commons on Champa // Denver, Colorado

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“If you’re starting up, start here.” . This is The Commons on Champa’s invitation to underserved leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the Denver area. Awaiting the Denver starter is a sequence of programming designed to streamline the success of each entrepreneur—no matter where they come from, what resources are at their disposal, or what their abilities are. . Starters are invited to begin with Will it Fly?,

Marketing Ops: The New Revenue Hero

As data continues to play a starring role in today’s B2B organizations, both marketing and sales operations professionals are poised to solidify their place as critical revenue drivers. In particular, the evolution of the Marketing Operations (Ops) role has created a new standard in marketing and has become a vital component of an organization’s success.

Give Big, Shop Small with 12 Days of Starters

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Each year during the holiday season we look forward to putting our money where our mission is: helping communities thrive through entrepreneurship. The CO.STARTERS Holiday Gift Guide was created to celebrate the growing community of starters we are proud to support, and to help anyone shop local anywhere and leverage their holiday spending to support entrepreneurs and the communities that support them. . Shopping small is trendy, but it’s also strategic.

ESHIP Year Three: From Inspiration to Action

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More than half of our CO.STARTERS national team (8 out of 15!) just returned from the third annual ESHIP Summit in Kansas City a few weeks ago. ESHIP (short for “entrepreneurship”) is the Kauffman Foundation’s annual gathering of entrepreneurial ecosystem builders and marks a significant high point for CO.STARTERS and our activity each year. Looking Back.

Our Economy Measures Success with the Wrong Metrics. Here is How We Should Measure Successful Economic Development

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By Enoch Elwell. Sociologists use various terms to describe collections of people. A group of people living in the same household and sharing legal and/or biological bonds is a “family.” A collection of people organized toward achieving shared economic goals is a “business.” A group of people sharing a defined geographic area is known by several names, including “city,” “town,” “region,” “state,” and “nation.”. How do we measure the health of each of these groups?

Creating Connections for Struggling Businesses through the Refocus Workshop

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CASE STUDY. Pasco Economic Development Council / SMARTstart. Lutz, Florida. 0 small business owners supported 0 workshops 0 grants provided How Pasco Economic Development Council’s SMAR Ts tar t used the CO.STARTERS Refocus business recovery workshop to reach unsupported entrepreneurs in their community and connect them to vital support.

What We Learned From Our Own Data-Driven ABM Strategy

ZoomInfo has created the following eBook to help other B2B organizations gain insights on how to launch their own data-driven ABM strategy. In this eBook, we will reveal the good and the bad from our own campaign and highlight some key takeaways on how to improve your ABM strategies moving forward.

Supporting Latinx Entrepreneurs Means Building Relationships of Trust

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A note about the “Latinx” term: As a national organization, CO.STARTERS prefers to use the broadest, most inclusive term but recommends that local organizations learn which term is preferred by their local population—possibly Latinx, Latino, Latina, Hispanic, or a specific nationality—and use that term. The Latinx community in the U.S. is large and growing.