The Answer to BIPOC Business Growth
A free 16-week mentorship & training cohort for minority-owned businesses in the Greater New Haven Area.
-- CLOSED --
Cohort Members Announced:
Week of December 14th, 2020
16 Weeks: January 11th, 2021 - April 30th, 2021
This free training & mentorship program was made possible by the support of CTNext and the New Haven Innovation Collaborative.
Who should apply to be a KNOWNpreneur?
The KNOWNpreneurs Growth Lab program is designed to specifically support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) owned businesses. As such, the program curriculum and mentors have been chosen to effectively help grow BIPOC-owned businesses in the Greater New Haven area.
- Annual revenues less than $500,000
- Must be in a growth phase of business
- Building a positive reputation in the Greater New Haven area
Meet the KNOWNpreneurs Mentors & Instructors
Founder of KNOWN & Mentor
Juan has more than 16 years of experience in the real estate and finance industry in CT. He has been a lender to and an owner of multi-family housing units, apartment buildings, commercial and hotel properties.
In 2005 Juan founded Sunrise Financial, as a private lending platform for real estate development entrepreneurs looking to close quickly on real estate market opportunities in New Haven County.
In 2009 Juan founded NHR Properties, a real estate management, investment and development venture. From 2010 and until 2018, Juan pursuit the redevelopment of close to 250 apartments in New Haven, 40k square foot of commercial office conversions, the acquisition and renovation of the former Marriott Residence Inn in Long Wharf, now called the New Haven Village Suites, and the conversion of office to apartments of New Haven’s first high school, a historical landmark called The Palladium building, circa 1855. As a consequence of these projects NHR won the investor developer award from the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce in 2018.
In 2019 Juan established KNOWN Coworking as a space for entrepreneurs to work, meet and grow and in 2020 launched KNOWNpreneurs, a growth lab to that teaches business people how to grow and scale businesses.
Program Manager & Mentor
Samantha (Sammi) is a distinguished content engineer with over twenty years of executive-level, corporate, and professional writing experience. Sammi has an extensive healthcare background, including serving in administrative, operational, and leadership capacities with Yale University and UnitedHealthcare. Sammi’s professional expertise includes healthcare administration, project management, and consumer experience design (UX).
Sammi has developed, executed, and led this initiative to provide BIPOC focused training resources and mentors to the Greater New Haven minority-owned business community.
Ramon started Peralta Design in 1992 while attending the University of Bridgeport, and he has pursued it fulltime since 2008. Ramon has over 25 years of experience in creative design, branding and marketing.
Ramon prides himself as a social entrepreneur dedicating many hours to speaking to and motivating at-risk teenagers in the inner-cities and helping disadvantaged and minority business enterprises (MBEs) launch their brands through various programs throughout the state and country.
Randi R. McCray is a New Haven native and local business owner. Driven by her passion for social justice, she takes pride in facilitating cross-cultural workshops and consultancy for small to mid-sized organizations. As the owner of RM Consulting Services, her goals include holding safe spaces for sensitive dialogue, gently guiding participant learning on diversity equity and social justice, and putting learning into action. In addition to her consulting practice, Randi is the owner of the Urban Collective, CT, New Haven’s first Black-owned collaborative business space. Randi is a doctoral candidate of Philosophy (Social Justice/Women & Gender Studies) at Union Institute and University.
Lakesha Oliver, owner and creative force behind Haute Ice Events, a local event planning and design company based out of North Haven. Lakesha honed her prowess in the special events industry by producing various themed events for family and friends over the years, in addition to her own fabulous Tiffany themed wedding in 2013.
Her primary objective, with every event, is to bring to life her clients’ incredible personal journeys, love stories and vision through design, organization, and planning. Her events are uniquely customized and tailored to each of her clients’ needs making them special experiences that they, themselves, get to enjoy as guests at their celebrations.
Eveyone who knows her, knows that Lakesha’s favorite color is BLING. She shines just as bright, earning awards of distinction from local organizations such as 100 Women of Color, Black People Rock, and The New Haven Club Inc. of The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Incorporated.
Dr. Davia Shepherd
Instructor & Mentor
Instructor & Mentor
Tracy V. Allen
What Happens in the Growth Lab?
Weekly lessons focused on the following categories:
16 Week Curriculum:
01/13/2021 - KNOWNpreneur Growth Lab orientation / Goal-setting and accountability
01/20/2021 - Budgeting & financial statements
01/27/2021 - Non-traditional funding sources
02/03/2021 - Minority certifications and designations
02/10/2021 - Creating a capability statement
02/17/2021 - Business barriers for minority-owned businesses
02/24/2021 - Business, Life, and Umbrella Insurance
03/03/2021 - Social media 101
03/10/2021 - KNOWNpreneur Growth Lab check-in / Social media – Beyond the basics
03/17/2021 - Website checkup workshop / extension of business
03/24/2021 - Productivity and integrations tools and strategies
03/31/2021 - Traditional and digital marketing - Leveraging Google’s Black-owned attribution
04/07/2021 - Work-life balance and self-care
04/14/2021 - Developing a strategic plan – Defining clear goals and objectives / SWOT
04/21/2021 - Scaling a business
04/28/2021 - Perfecting your presentation