Truth or Dare. Lets call a spade a spade!
As a female entrepreneur, I quickly realized the truth about the industry and what was meant by “special” women business and minority programs. Let’s NOT be politically correct for once and call a spade a spade. These programs are run by women and men who have never experienced what it is to be an entrepreneur—no offense to the MBA grads and Corporate suits. But how can you really sell a program on products in the marketplace when you have never—and I want to empathizes never—started or run your own business? This is the truth, and needs to be acknowledged.
Now to my dare. My company dares to truly support women entrepreneurs because, contrary to most common models that exist to offer “support” to minority and women-owned business—where the results are virtually non-existent, and are of little benefit to whomever they serve—QGourmet’s Women Owned Business program truly does exist to serve its participants.
Its interesting to note that most associations protect themselves with caveats like “we cannot guarantee corporate contracts.” What they do guarantee is that before they will even consider any women-owned or minority-owned start-up the start-up must pay a $750 fee to the association. They also guarantee that the fee is non-refundable. So they don’t guarantee mentors as promised, or effective market strategy help, but they aren’t afraid to take your money. In other words, they talk a good talk, but have no skin in the game.
I’m not claiming our model is perfect, but what we dare to do is bring partners to the table that must guarantee to engage in a contract with our Women Owned Businesses. We guarantee a mentor—someone our participants can have coffee with, discuss challenges with, or just talk to about what’s going on.
Once participants go through the 14-week program, there is a 100% guarantee the WOB’s will have a contract to have their products placed with key retailers.
Participants receive a 14-week structured program that includes:
- Training on market uniqueness and peculiarities
- Selling—includes support selling, sustainable market, and the LEAN Necessary Three Principle of Selling.
What each store guarantees/agrees to:
Product in their store for a minimum of 16 weeks (four months shelf exposure).