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This summer, it’ll cost you more to rent a car in Cincinnati than it will to rent a vehicle anywhere else in America, except for Cleveland, according to Bizjournal.com. If you routinely rent cars when you need to travel for business, you may be better off turning a personal vehicle into an office on wheels. Yes, your personal vehicle will get used more often, which means more wear and tear, but lots of female entrepreneurs are using the latest tech to turn their vehicles into convenient and cost-effective moving offices. If you’re interested in learning how to turn a vehicle into an office on wheels, you’ll appreciate these tips.

Consider buying a newer vehicle

You may have a newer vehicle already. If so, that’s good news, because newer models tend to convert to offices on wheels easily, since they have outlets for electronic devices. If your vehicle is a bit out of date, you may want to compare different makes and models and find one that has all the bells and whistles. If you’re not ready to invest in a new auto, research aftermarket parts, which will make it possible to plug in your electronic gear with ease.

Invest in a wireless router

When you buy a portable wireless router for use in your vehicle, which is placed in a trunk or a glove box, you’ll be able to link to a wireless network. This will make it simple to connect your laptop, printer and/or copier to the Web, via a Wi-Fi connection. Whether you want to have webcam meetings or make Skype calls, you’ll find that your wireless router never lets you down. This piece of equipment will help you to make calls via the web, in places where your smart phone might not work. You’ll also know that the web is accessible, no matter where you roam. Many wireless routers have USB slots for flash drives and other forms of external media. These high-tech devices help businesswomen to stay in the loop while they’re on the road.

Install a Bluetooth stereo

There will always be times when you want to answer calls on your smart phone, rather than using Skype with the help of a wireless router. When you install a Bluetooth stereo which allows you to sync your smart phone to the sound system, you’ll love the options that your new system gives you. Once the Bluetooth stereo is installed, you’ll be able to talk to callers via your car’s speakers, play music from your phone through the Bluetooth stereo, and access new alerts on your car dashboard. Hands-free performance will make it simple for you to take care of business.

Renting cars has its place. However, renting vehicles in Cincinnati is currently costly. If you need to travel in a vehicle for business, purchase a new car (maybe you’re overdue for a new vehicle, anyway?) or modify yours if it needs some aftermarket parts to handle your electronic toys. Then, purchase a wireless router and install a Bluetooth stereo. Once you’ve turned your vehicle into an office on wheels, you’ll enjoy the ultimate in convenience and efficiency. 

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Learn about the upcoming networking event that gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to network and pitch their businesses to the crowd. Read on for more.

Social Enterprise Alliance Cincinnati is hosting an upcoming Networking & Pitch Night.

Social Enterprise Alliance Cincinnati is bringing together the community through its upcoming Networking & Pitch Night on August 6 at March First Brewing and Distilling.

The night will provide an opportunity for individuals to connect with other like-minded professionals in the social enterprise, non-profit, conscious business, and entrepreneurial space.

Abigail Davidson, Administrative Support for the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) Cincinnati says that the upcoming Networking & Pitch Night gives attendees the chance for free networking time as well as the opportunity to give and/or hear 60-second pitches to share their business with everyone all at once.

When asked what inspired the Networking & Pitch Night she says that it’s the organizations and individuals in the area who are making an impact on communities around the world.

“We believe there is strength and opportunity in connection and collaboration,” she says. “So a big part of the goal of SEA Cincinnati is to provide a space for that to happen.”

Davidson says that any and all social impact businesses as well as non-profits, individuals, or entrepreneurs are welcome to attend the event at March First Brewery. 

“There are a lot of networking opportunities in the Cincinnati area, but this one is different because it’s specifically geared toward those who are using their work to make the world a better place in some way – or those who would like to in the future,” she says. 

Davidson says that SEA members and non-members are invited to attend the event in August, and are welcome to bring a friend or colleague. 

To RSVP for the event, click here. You can find additional information on SEA at cincinnatisocialenterprise.org or on Facebook and Twitter.

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A global company headquartered in Cincinnati is hosting an upcoming hiring event. Click here to read more about the positions available.

When it comes to payment technology companies, Worldpay is at the top of its game. The company offers a unique capability to power global integrated omni-commerce with industry-leading scale and an integrated technology platform.

“Worldpay offers clients a comprehensive suite of products and services globally, delivered through a single provider,” the company states. “Worldpay processes over 40 billion transactions annually through more than 300 payment types across 146 countries and 126 currencies.”

With a growing global economy means the need for growth within the company. Worldpay aims to expand into high-growth markets and customer segments including eCommerce, integrated payments, and business-to-business.

To help with its expansion, Worldpay is hiring for jobs in the Cincinnati market. They will hire 30-40 Call Center and Tech Support agents at an onsite hiring event on Thursday, July 11 from 11am to 6 pm. The positions will start in the August 12 new hire classes.

The 2nd shift Associate Customer Service Specialist offers a $1,500 hiring bonus. This position requires employees to deliver quality customer service to customers and partners. Associate Customer Service Specialist typically requires less than 1 year of experience.

The Tech Support agent is responsible for resolving customer and partner issues that often have more complexity. This position needs 2-4 years of related experience.

You can learn more about Worldpay at https://www.worldpay.com/. You can also watch the video below for a glimpse at the company’s culture.

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There’s a collective effort to expand the reach of minority-owned businesses in the Tri-State. Read on to hear the story of one local business owner who’s finding the benefit in the collaborative.

The mission behind the Cincinnati Minority Business Collaborative is to work to positively impact the growth, development, and success of minority small businesses in the Greater Cincinnati area. 

There are several enterprises that come together to make up the Cincinnati Minority Business Collaborative, which states that it provides capital and customer readiness support to high-potential minority businesses in the region.

“The collaborative is not a new organization, but a new concept and a new way for existing organizations to work more effectively together to help grow our community’s minority business enterprises,” the website states.

Additionally, the Cincinnati Minority Business Collaborative provides no-cost programmatic assistance by experienced and industry-specific business coaches and professionals, all of whom help with a wide range of subject matter expertise to help prepare those in the collaborative for raising capital. 

One of those minority-owned businesses working with the CMBC is Michelle Morales-Denisoff, the CEO of Liona Enterprises.

Liona Enterprises is an IT professional services company that prides itself on being a collaborative business partner that offers business, technical, training solutions, and resources to the challenges of helping government and commercial clients become more effective and efficient fulfilling their goals.

“The core values of Liona Enterprises include trust, loyalty, respect, hard work and perseverance,” says Morales-Denisoff. “We help leverage the potential of technology in the workplace by providing comprehensive professional services for our clients (government and commercial). We will find ways to help streamline the acquisition process by offering a wide range of contract vehicles to choose including small business supplier diversity programs, 8a STARS, GSA, and various state contracts. And with the help of our PMP certified project managers, we get your projects completed on time, on budget, and on target.”

Liona Enterprises became involved with the Cincinnati Minority Business Collaborative through the Chamber of Commerce and a referral from Patrick Griffis, who works at The Accelerator.

Liona Enterprises works with Jilson Daniels and Griffis to expand its outreach in Cincinnati and found that the Cincinnati Minority Business Collaborative has been an advocate for the company.

“They have helped us a lot in terms of marketing and getting our name out there so companies will know who we are and what we do,” says Morales-Denisoff. “The majority of Liona’s business is coming from the Federal Government (DOD and Non-DOD) so it’s good to have someone like Daniels from CMBC to help promote our company so we can start gaining some traction in the commercial space.”

Morales-Denisoff says that other businesses who want to expand their reach and gain new customers should turn to the Cincinnati Minority Business Collaborative.

“If you want an organization to help develop your business and advocate for you, CMBC is the right organization to be a part of,” she says. “They provide, at no cost to small businesses like Liona, highly experienced and industry specific business coaches and professionals and most of them have real world success stories to share as small business owners, entrepreneurs, and  corporate executives. Most importantly they help small business in raising capital and providing expert advice that focuses on strategy, operations, infrastructure, and financial planning.”

You can learn more about the Cincinnati Minority Business Collaborative or find additional information about joining the Collaborative at https://cincinnati-mbc.org/

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A local non-profit places at-risk youth on a path to success. See how they’re changing things up to provide some major support.

CATS is a program that helps at-risk teens in Greater Cincinnati. Photo by: Jonathan Gibson Photography – Cincinnati Wedding Photography

The Cincinnati Arts and Technology Studios (CATS) wants to help local youth in Cincinnati Public Schools. According to CATS Marketing and Communications Director Brooke Sallas, the non-profit organization is doing just that by partnering students from the school district with like-minded organizations to help students earn fine arts and elective credits so they can graduate from high school on time and head down a path to a successful life.

“Our team of staff, art instructors, board of directors, and partners are dedicated to unlocking each student’s potential, equipping them with critical life skills and nurturing their unique abilities through graduation and beyond,” explains Sallas.

The program at CATS was modeled after the Manchester Bidwell Training Center, which inspires to re-engage young adults in their education while helping them discover their self-worth through the power of art.

“Students work alongside professional artists in a first-class environment featuring cutting-edge technology and equipment, where they are nurtured and encouraged to develop skills that will propel them into successful futures,” says Sallas.

The history of CATS goes back to 2003 when it was established by a small group of passionate leaders who wanted to make a difference in the Tri-State. Those founders include Lee Ault Carter, Pierre Wevers, Bob Castellini, and Bill Strickland.

Today the program offers five studio courses including ceramics, 2-D design, 3-D design, digital multimedia, and stained glass, all of which are designed to meet Ohio Department of Education visual arts standards and are open to high school juniors, seniors, and overage underclassmen.

“Each course offers students the opportunity to earn credits toward graduation,” says Sallas. “Many of our students also enroll in our highly-notable workforce development program, Bridging the Gap (BTG), that focuses on preparing graduates to launch successful careers following high school graduation. BTG also provides skilled workers to industries that have a shortage of talent.”

CATS offers support to kids in the community in several ways, according to Sallas. These include:

  • Building consistent relationships with students, schools, and partners
  • Meet at-risk teens where they are
  • Provide a first-class learning environment
  • Maintain small classes to ensure personalized attention
  • Empower teens to define and achieve success through a culture of respect, a strong message of success, accountability, instruction, and caring
  • Leverage the arts to help students create their lives as they do their art
  • Staff successful working artists with hearts for at-risk teens
  • Support 18 months post-graduation to help them stay successful

Sallas says that what helps CATS stand out is that the program is closely connected to Cincinnati Public Schools to work collaboratively on behalf of students while also marrying professional teaching artists with career educators to offer a model of education in a small student-to-artist ratio.

Students also receive support in training and certification, connections with employer partners, access to college mentoring, local college tours, and extended opportunities.

The support offered through CATS is just the beginning as there are several new things on the horizon for the organization.

“We just went through a rebrand and we are focusing on brand awareness and connecting with our community,” says Sallas, who recently joined CATS to help reverse the sentiment of being a ‘hidden gem’ in Cincinnati.

Additionally, says Sallas, the Young Professional committee is working to bring a series of Sip and Paints to offer fun and engaging activities while showcasing the work CATS does.

“We were also recently selected by UC DAAP for the E2C Symposium, a design blitz benefitting a local non-profit, where DAAP’s emerging creatives investigate our facility through design thinking to improve our current space and bring about a more innovative environment to our students,” says Sallas.

To learn more about CATS, the work they do to support local youth, and more, visit www.cincinnatiartsandtechnologystudios.org. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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Learn about a local roundtable for HR professionals that’s empowering, connecting and accelerating people and business results.

The Cincinnati Regional Chamber offers an HR Roundtable to offer organizational thinking and networking among c-suite leaders in the city.

Lisa Gick is more than just the CEO and Founder of The Curious Agency. She’s also a member of the Cincinnati Regional Chamber’s HR Roundtable.

“The HR Roundtable brings together c-suite and talent professionals from a diversity of industries who understand and share the unique challenges of top-level management,” explains Gick. “The program empowers leaders to build organizational experiences that uplift people and accelerate business results.”

The trusted board of advisors behind the HR Roundtable join together to discuss strategic HR issues as well as emerging trends. The group meets 6 times a year for half-day sessions, and cover themes and content that are driven by the group’s interests.

“HR Roundtable members participate in additional chamber-sponsored events dedicated to professionals in all the Chamber Roundtable communities, including CEOs, marketing, sales, finance, and IT professionals, that cover relevant topics like leadership development and employee engagement,” says Gick. “The professional connections enabled through the Roundtable bring meaningful relationships that endure.”

Those enduring relationships are something that Gick cherishes. “When you join the HR Roundtable, you’re walking into a dynamic and welcoming community of professional peers offering mutual learning, thought leadership in the profession, and support,” she adds. ‘Our members can speak openly and candidly when they gather, knowing they will receive genuine feedback and contribution from the group, in the environment where confidentiality is respected and honored.”

The members in the HR Roundtable are key leaders in their companies and offer a strategic mindset and transformative practice considerations, helping to provide a way to think differently about the organizational experience.

“Members may come with a request of their peers on a challenging or puzzling business initiative or they may come with an offer for the request of another member,” she says. “There’s a spirit of generosity in offering one’s best thinking on developing concepts or practice needs.”

You can learn more about the Chamber’s HR Roundtable here.

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Creatives have a new co-working space that provides access to private offices and workspaces while also using professional production equipment at no extra cost to them. 

Joshua Reid (center) is the founder behind the newly opened StudioCincy, a space for creatives in Cincinnati.

Joshua Reid is the Founder and CEO of StudioCincy, a photo and video rental studio and co-working space that is designed for creatives, freelancers, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and those who are looking for an affordable and motivational environment where they can work.

Reid’s entrepreneurial career often encountered the same obstacles: loneliness and a lack of funds.

“Way too often on the journey of chasing your dreams, you’re the only one with a true passion to bring that idea to a reality,” explains Reid. “For most, there’s also a barrier for not having access to the funds or capital to fuel that idea.”

Little by little Reid was able to create the space he’d always envisioned for himself – a space that was just for people who want to chase their dreams and have a vision to do great things without feeling lonely, discouraged, or unsupported.

“This desire then birthed StudioCincy, a place where we not only provide the space, but also the equipment at no extra cost, to bring those ideas to a reality,” he says. “Our belief is that a creator’s vision should not be blocked by the lack of equipment, and/or the finances to purchase or rent the equipment needed to bring that vision to a reality.”

The space at StudioCincy includes a 1,200-square-foot photo and video rental studio that works for photography, videography, team meetings, workshops, and small events. Equipment included with each booking also includes 3,800-square-feet of private offices, work stations, and a fully-equipped professional podcast room.

The idea behind StudioCincy makes it unique in itself, but the services that come along with the organization add to its uniqueness.

“We provide all camera, lighting, and sound equipment for our studio rentals at no extra cost,” says Reid. “We have a hub of computers equipped with the full Adobe Suite for editing, at no extra cost. Our podcast room is equipped with professional-grade podcasting equipment at no extra cost. We also have a Members Only lounge for our members, with free snacks and beverages, as well as a full kitchen for our hourly rentals.”

The goal at StudioCincy is to accommodate the needs of the customers by eliminating the barriers often faced by entrepreneurs. Other amenities at StudioCincy include 24/7 access, 24/7 on-site security, 24/7 free parking, online booking, free high-speed wi-fi, photography and videography studio, private offices, workspaces, professional equipment rentals, controlled environment for creatives, game/lounge room, and free snacks and beverages.

Reid says that although the ribbon cutting and grand opening for StudioCincy was recently held the team is already looking at opening location No. 2.

You can learn more about StudioCincy at www.studiocincy.com or by following along on Instagram or Facebook.

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A local professional women’s organization is launching a new way to help women find the resources they need to advance their careers.

Ellevate Network, an organization launched 21 years ago with chapters nationwide, is passionate about their mission in creating a community of strong professional women who strive to help each other succeed. The Ellevate Network community opens doors for opportunities to gain inspiration from other hard-working women, as well as helping women expand in the next steps of their careers.

To further that mission, the organization recently announced the launch of a new initiative: Ellevate Experts.

“Ellevate Experts are the women within our community who are committed to supporting our members through their career journeys,” says Johanna Pulgarin, program manager for Ellevate Network. “By sharing their knowledge, stories, and best career advice, our Experts can be the catalyst you need to help you achieve your professional goals.”

According to Pulgarin, Ellevate Experts allows for moments of shared knowledge, opportunity, and constant support. 

The inspiration behind Ellevate Experts is to make it easier for professional women to communicate and collaborate to expand in their endeavors. “We wanted to make it easier for Ellevate members to find and connect with other members who might be able to help them achieve their professional goals,” Pulgarin explains. “There are so many incredible women in the network, but it can be intimidating to have to search through for someone who might have the experience and advice you’re looking for. Ellevate Experts have shown their breadth of knowledge through submitting content on our site, and are committed to supporting other women. It’s a lot less intimidating to reach out to someone when you know they’re part of a group of women who want to help.”

“The project,” Pulgarin says, “couldn’t have been made possible without the work of the rest of the Product, Design, and Engineering teams.”

There is a specific process involved in building the community and creating effective networking. This process is what makes Ellevate Experts so empowering and allows them to continue to flourish, according to Pulgarin.

“Members are labeled as Ellevate Experts after engaging with specific benefits on our website — they’ve published two or more articles, have hosted a Jam Session (what we call our webinars) or spoken at one of our events, and they’ve filled out their Member Profile,” Pulgarin says. “Once those requirements are met, they’re featured on the Ellevate Experts page of our site. We encourage members to reach out to each other via the Conversations messaging tool on our site with specific asks or genuine interest in each others’ experiences, to create authentic connections that go beyond the typical cold introduction we dread when networking.”

The uniqueness of Ellevate Experts comes from its Ellevate members, Pulgarin explains. “They already believe in the importance of seeing more women succeed in their careers,” she adds. “They believe in lifting each other up, and they do what they can with what they know in order to play a role in that success. There’s huge potential in creating an impactful connection with an Expert who can answer your questions or give advice about the professional goals you’re trying to achieve.”

This new launch isn’t the only thing Ellevate has brewing. “We’re continuing to help our community make the most impactful connections they can, and one way is by offering Suggested Connections in our member directory and throughout the site based on things like your city, your goals, your industry, and other factors,” Pulgarin explains. “Soon you’ll see Suggested Experts to help you narrow your search even further.”

To learn more, visit www.ellevatenetwork.com/experts.

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Did you know that Ohio was voted one of the best places for women to start businesses? According to FitSmallBusiness.com, the state was ranked No. 2, behind Texas. As the number of female entrepreneurs in the United States steadily grows, attention is being focused on the support that is being made available to women business owners, and the gap between them and their male counterparts. One of those categories of support? Financing options. It has already been established that women entrepreneurs may be treated differently when it comes to applying for credit. For example, Fortune Magazine and Bizz2Credit revealed that women tend to get approved for loan amounts that are 45 percent less compared to men. Yet the number of women taking the plunge into business continues to grow, and as a result, women are looking for ways to succeed in entrepreneurship, including financial support. Cincinnati is brimming with financial options to help them do just that.

Small Business Grants -The Amber Grant & EnrichHER Funding

The EnrichHER Funding program and society have long been known for supporting women entrepreneurs. While other parts of the society connect women with mentors and other business support resources, the funding program seeks businesses in existence for a minimum of 12 months, and also stipulates a credit score of 600 or higher. The financing options are also varied, and include loans up to $250,000, lines of credit and grants.

The Amber Grant is also another great program for women looking to start their own business, and is backed by WomensNet. Each month, a $2,000 grant is given out, and at year-end, a grant worth $25,000 is granted to one of the 12 business owners. Application is easily done online, and the website also offers a host of additional resources, including tips on how to secure the best loan for your business.

Local Loan Programs – The Cincinnati Access Fund

In 2018, The Cincinnati Access Fund program was launched as an initiative supported by Fifth Third Bank. The fund’s value stands at $3.5 million and is specifically geared towards women and minority-owned small businesses in Cincinnati. It was announced that the Access Fund will offer two different loan options aimed at both new and existing businesses. Microloans are for loans of a value of $100,000 or less, and are for those businesses that find themselves unable to access traditional financing. Term loans are for those entrepreneurs looking to grow their revenues and employee base, and are offered in amounts of $100,000 and $350,000. The program stands apart from others in the sense that it is specifically aimed at small businesses, and can be a great stepping stone in helping small business owners improve their chances of securing traditional financing later down the line, including improving chances and rates charged when using and securing short term consumer financing.

Startup Programs – The Hillman Accelerator & The Brandery

In 2017, the Hillman Accelerator was launched with the aim of assisting women and minority entrepreneurs who were in the tech industry. Funded by firms such as The Brandery and CincyTech, the program has seen great success since the launch, and was one of the most publicized attempts at encouraging diversity in business startups. It is also much more than just a financing program. In addition to connecting entrepreneurs with suitable venture capitalists, the Hillman Accelerator also connects you with mentors to guide you in navigating the beginning process, and also to help businesses with their customer acquisition strategy.

One of the program’s investors, The Brandery is also a great option for female entrepreneurs, and helps in the area of branding, marketing, and design for new companies. The startup boasts multiple female mentors who can help you understand what it is like as a woman in business, and in return for their participation, The Brandery secures a 6 percent stake in each startup for $50,000 in capital, office space for a year, and additional benefits.

It has never been a better time to get into business as a woman. More female entrepreneurs are not only starting their own businesses, but proving repeatedly what a success they can be in the industry. In response, more companies are taking notice and providing the resources to enable and encourage female participation. The world is slowly welcoming female entrepreneurs into the fold, Cincinnati included.

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See how a local organization is leveraging members’ skills and networks to improve the community.

Skills are key in any career. So are the connections you have. When you use your skills and your network to help better the world around you, you can make a huge impact.

 

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Influence Cincinnati initiative wants to encourage those connections and skills to make the city we all call “home” even better.

 

“Influence Cincinnati is an initiative designed to identify ways that participants can harness the influence they already have – in their jobs, communities, and spheres of influence – to create a future we all want to call home,” explains the Chamber’s Government Affairs Coordinator Hannah Boone. “Influence Cincinnati invites experienced and emerging leaders across the region and all Chamber members interested in shaping civic decisions and conversations to meet throughout the year to have candid conversations about civic engagement, advocacy, public policy, and politics with experts and key decision makers.”

 

The inspiration behind Influence Cincinnati comes from the Chamber’s desire to get members deeply involved in the work everyone is doing to make the region better.

 

“Influence Cincinnati is a place for people of all professional backgrounds who have a passion for moving our region forward,” adds Boone. “There are so many individuals who want to harness their influence to raise the profile of our region but they don’t know where to start – that’s where Influence Cincinnati comes in.”

 

There’s is no one-way street behind the movement and organization of Influence Cincinnati. Boone says the initiative aims to be engaging for members as well as a place to have two-conversations with business and community leaders, elected officials, policy makers, and thought-leaders in the region.

 

Boone says the kickoff for Influence Cincinnati is planned for June 18 from 3-4:30 pm at the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub. Then, meetings will be held on a regular basis, Boone says, every other month.

 

You can sign up to become a member of Influence Cincinnati on the Chamber’s website.