Ah, summer. Isn’t it great? The school year is done, graduations are in full bloom, and vacation time is kicking in for many lucky folks. While you should definitely take advantage of every opportunity to soak up some sun and warmer weather in the coming weeks, also recognize the opportunities before you. Use your vacation time this summer to relax and further your business goals.
That is, while you’re stretching out on a lounge chair pool-side or at the beach, bring along a business book to read, or industry magazines to help you get up-to-speed. If you’re heading out of town this summer, see if business owners there who are doing what you aspire to do would be willing to meet with you for a cup of coffee; since you’re not in their neighborhood, they may be willing to do a little informal mentoring. But even if they aren’t willing to spill their secrets, you can still do some sleuthing to study how other businesses operate (take pictures, notes, and chat with customers about what they like most and least).
Come fall, when the business pace picks up again, you’ll be amazed at how much clearer your vision for your business is.
To your success,
Marcia and Christina
New Yorker Wins Special Amber Grant for her Ethiopian Clothing Line
Meki Adefris of Brooklyn, New York, was awarded a special $1,000 Amber grant from WomensNet.net on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, live in New York City on May 7th.
Meki is in the process of starting Me & Lu (www.meandlu.com), a line of children’s clothing fashioned after traditional Ethiopian dress. Her first-year line will consist of three dresses and a traditional tunic top based on Ethiopian styles, “but more modern and fashion conscious,” she says.
She will use her grant to pay for patterns and samples to be created and to pay for a trip to Ethiopia this summer to meet with suppliers. All of the clothing will be made in Ethiopia by local artisans, providing fair wages for the work. Congratulations, Meki!
Grant Success Tip
One way to improve your odds of landing a grant is to consider all your options. Don’t immediately dismiss grant opportunities you discover because they don’t exactly fit your current needs. Instead, explore how you can turn that grant into your solution.
For example, if you’ve been searching for a grant to cover the purchase of some new equipment for your business and along the way you find one that provides employee training, don’t reject it because it’s not an exact match with your needs. Instead, investigate whether there is a way you could reallocate budgeted training funds to help cover the cost of the equipment. In other words, if you find a grant that can replace what you’re currently spending somewhere else, you may be able to free up some cash to help where you need it most. Don’t pass up any grant for which you qualify – you never know what new doors it may open for your business.
You’re the First to Know
WomensNet.net will be introducing a valuable new business finance tool in early July that will help make it possible for you to start your new business now, not later. While grants are wonderful, they can take forever to find and apply for. And if you’re eager to start your new business, our new ebook, Beyond Grants, will fill you in on all you need to know about grant alternatives. In fact, we cover eight other places you can turn to for the money you need to get started. Stay tuned for more details.
Our second quarter Amber Grant recipient will be announced on July 15th. We still are accepting applications till Midnight Tuesday June 30th!