Last week I had the pleasure of being part of the “Out of the Box Business Panel” hosted by the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute (DFLI) in celebration of National Entrepreneur Week.
These two free workshops were held at the Wilmington and Dover libraries which were great venues for attendees who came seeing information on either starting or expanding a current business.
Ronni Cohen, Executive Director of DFLI and Keyanna Mozie, Program Director kicked off each evening with a brief introduction of the program and that of it’s moderator, Terrance Vann.
Terrance Vann is not only a great moderator, he is also a very talented artist who’s work can be seen on his website www.TerranceVann.com and on his Instagram page.
Tuesday evening’s workshop was held in Wilmington, and I, representing A.Blake Enterprises and Blogging with Blake, was joined by fellow panelist Chris Fullman, Department of Labor, Jaimie Hayman, Hayman Creative Promotional Products Agency, Inc., and Queon Jackson, Summer J. Artisan Ice Pops, LLC.
On Thursday the workshop was held at the Dover Library, and Daneya Jacobs from Candy Connections joined Jaimie, Queon and myself.
We began with a brief introduction of ourselves and of our business, then the moderated questioning began. I can honestly say that not only did the attendees receive great take-away information, I think each of us on the panel did as well – at least I know I did.
National Entrepreneur Week was designed to celebrate American entrepreneurs and the lifelong learning educational opportunities that prepare the NEW business leaders of the future.
The Week is in response to the U S House of Representatives Resolution #699, supporting an annual National Entrepreneurship Week and encouraging the celebration of it annually at the local, state, and national levels.
Despite the cold temps and drenching rain those in attendance who had braved the elements came armed with insightful comments and questions. Questions ranged from how to take the ideas in their head and write a business plan to what are some of the licensing and insurance requirements for starting a business in Delaware.
Conducting these workshops in the libraries was great because public libraries contain numerous resources to help those searching for employment, starting or expanding a business and even studying course work online.
Please visit Delawarelibraries.org/ls for more information.
Over the past 13 years, DFLI has also become “A Community of Learners, A School Without Walls,” providing a host of services to adults, women, youth and families. DFLI’s signature program, The Money School, provides hundreds of students throughout the state with more than 600 free financial education classes.
Thousands of students have learned how to manage their money and save with DFLI’s award winning program, Bank At School. Programming such as From Purses to Portfolios, Money Clubs, and Passport to Prosperity offer women a wealth of resources, special programs and events, all to help participants take charge of their money.
DFLI’s newest program, The Center for Business Growth, provides small businesses with the critical entrepreneurial and financial skills necessary for business success and it was an honor being part of these fantastic workshops.
How did your state celebrate National Entrepreneurship Week?
On Saturday, the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute, held it’s annual From Purses to Portfolios Celebration at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.
This event was held to honor the 2013 Award Recipients, those who had achieved various levels (hours) by participating in Money School Classes, Money Clubs, Special Events and Volunteering. Women achieving various levels ranging from 1-15 hours and up to 250 hours were being recognized, the highest achievement being the Ambassador of Financial Education ~ 250 hours.
The recipient of this award was Elizabeth “Penny” Church for her “Penny’s 2 Dollars Money Club” and she also received the Sandra A. Varano Golden Purse Award.
The other categories of recognition were: Money School Advocate Awards; Executive Director’s Awards and Outstanding Volunteer Awards of which I was also a recipient due to the volunteer hours of instruction for the Blogging 101 and Blogging for Your Small Business classes.
The From Purses to Portfolios Celebration was held in a beautifully decorated ballroom, and on each table there was a vibrant Autumn Mum and a small Gift Bag on each seat. Inside the Gift Bags was a pink FAB pen, Note Cards, “friends don’t let friends drown in debt” magnet, a donation envelop, a card advertising “Money Letters” and a retractable measuring tape from Citi, who was the major sponsor.
Chasing the Dream Exhibitors were set up around the ballroom selling products and attendees walked about chatting and networking. In an adjoining room there was a breakfast buffet, warming trays filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and fried potatoes. As well as tables of yogurt, pastries, bagels, fruit, coffee, tea and juice.
Ronni Cohen, Executive Director opened the program with a warm welcome and explained the levels of achievement and how they are gained through the Money School of Delaware.
Alisha Adams, a Money School instructor gave a beautiful blessing and Quadia Muhmmad, Program Director introduced the Keynote Speaker, Jackie Cummings Koski.
Jackie Cummings Koski, is the Award Winning Author of Money, Letters 2 My Daughter. As one of 6 children raised by a single dad, where money was always short, finances were taboo to talk about and bad money decisions were made, she knew that she wanted her daughter to make better financial decisions in her life.
She was determined to teach her daughter Amber, financial literacy but in a fun and easy way, one that would appeal to her teenage mind. Jackie began to write letters and those letters turned into a best selling book, one that was sent to and acknowledged by the President and First Lady Obama. Money, Letters 2 My Daughter is available in book stores as well as a downloadable ebook.
Jackie ended her presentation with a Group Activity in which she asked us to answer 1 of 4 questions on a “My Money Letter” form. Those willing to reveal their answer on stage were each given a $2 bill which has been significant in Jackie’s life long savings plan.
Ronni returned to the podium to present the 2013 Awards and Door Prizes which included Gift Cards, a WaWa Gift Basket and Books. One of the winners was a man, but in keeping with the FAB motto of “FOR Women ~ ABOUT Women ~ BY Women AND the men in their lives” is was okay!
A game of “What’s in your Purse” was then hosted by Quadia with the winner of having the most items on her list in their purse receiving the table’s Mum.
The event concluded with a book signing by Jackie and more sales by the Chasing the Dream Exhibitors. It was a great day and another wonderful FREE event sponsored by The Delaware Financial Literacy Institute – The Money School of DE.
The 10th Annual From Purses to Portfolios Event will be held next year on October 25th 2014 – so mark your calendars.