Through the eyes of a facilitator...

LAUNCH entrepreneurs that go through our program wouldn’t get the strong start they receive without our facilitators. What role do facilitators play? They’re the ones who lead our Business Entrepreneurship Academy classes, taking the curriculum and walking through the material with 15 budding entrepreneurs at a time. 

Both of our current facilitators for the Spring 2016 semester are also LAUNCH entrepreneurs. Susan M. Freeman, owner and operator of Susan M. Freeman Enterprises, teaches the class that takes place in Brainerd, while Linda Murray Bullard of LSMB Business Solutions lends her knowledge to our downtown Chattanooga class.

With the 10-week classes coming to a close, we asked Linda to talk to us about how far these entrepreneurs have come, and what her experience has been teaching this semester.

Every new class brings its own set of anxieties for a LAUNCH facilitator. Will I give them what they need? Will they get enough motivation to make that next step? Can I reach all of them? This Spring’s class was no exception. This group of existing and future entrepreneurs didn’t know what to expect; however, just as with fellow entrepreneurs, you give them information and they promptly put it to use. 
By Week Five, one business owner reported that since taking the class she was able to create her price list and  finally set comparable prices for her products. She was finally seeing a profit! 
The very next week, another business owner reported she priced her products at their appropriate price for an event, and they sold! I got chills from the happiness and the excitement in her voice. She also mentioned that through attending the class, she had gained the confidence to make “The Ask.” A corporate buyer asked her to make a custom piece and she priced it appropriately without second guessing herself.
Another business owner stated she had taken on a new partnership because the lessons learned in the Business Entrepreneurship Academy had given her the inspiration she needed to test her ideas.  She now had the courage to take the necessary risks without being paralyzed by fear. 
During week six another business owner taught a class at the school where she learned her craft and another tested her idea by holding a seminar teaching others her craft. She made a profit, and has now changed her business model to include professional speaking and seminars.
The testimonies go on and on…each one is as amazing as the last. This Spring, I have had the incredible fortune of witnessing the creativity that was locked inside a group of aspiring business owners. Chattanooga and the surrounding areas will never be the same. 
The Business Entrepreneurship Academy curriculum, combined with real world business situations and LAUNCH’s holistic business support approach helps business owners push the envelope toward success. 
- Linda Murray Bullard
LAUNCH entrepeneur and facilitator
Owner of LSMB Business Solutions

Be sure to join us on May 17th, as this group of entrepeneurs gradautes from our Business Entrepeneurship Academy. This event is free, and you will enjoy food from Barbeque Rowe, started by graduate and entrepeneur Patrick Rowe!