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Celebrate International Women’s Day and female entrepreneurship at an upcoming Women in Business event!

Women are making a splash in the business world and the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) is helping them continue to break the glass ceiling. 

SEA is a national organization with a Greater Cincinnati chapter that aims to help enterprising nonprofits, social purpose businesses, and educates to help promote sustainable social innovation through networking, educational activities, partnerships, and legislation. 

One of the ways the Greater Cincinnati chapter of SEA is doing this is through their Women in Business event coming up March 14 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.  

The event celebrates International Womens’ Day to celebrate women’s empowerment in entrepreneurship, leadership, and how the feminine spirit can be applied to all organizations. 

“An equal world is an enable world,” says SEA. “Come connect with like-minded professionals in the social enterprise, non-profit, conscious business, and entrepreneurial space as as explore stories of how business can collectively help create a gender equal world.”

According to David Gaines, CEO La Terza Coffee and SEA member, the event will include stories, speakers, art, and a gallery area highlighting several great, empowering women organizations in the region.

The day is intended to be a day that inspires others with hope and real actions that everyone can take an apply to work and advocacy for a more equal world. “The day will be a progression of talks and topics, from self-care and rest, implicit bias in gender, and unpacking feminine and masculine narratives,” says Gaines. “I’m most excited about our panel of amazing women from throughout our city, representing many different intersections of race and work experiences.”

In addition to its Women in Business event, SEA is continuing to introduce ways for its members to engage in the field and with one another in meaningful ways. 

“Affinity networks will allow members across the country to knowledge share and create community with others in the field who wake up everyday thinking about the same problems and solutions,” says Gaines. “Working committees will enable members to work together on issues important to the social enterprise field as a whole. In addition to these changes, SEA members will have many more opportunities to learn and contribute to one another and the field as whole, with more webinars, partnerships, and an annual Summit.”

Gaines says that all are welcome to attend the event, whether they are a business leader, work at a non-profit, or want to start a social enterprise one day. “SEA members and non-members are invited, so bring a friend or colleague,” he adds.

To learn more about the upcoming event or to get your tickets, click here. Gaines says that many of the sessions from the day will be recorded, so those who cannot attend will have an opportunity to learn from the speakers in a podcast platform a couple of weeks after the event. You can find announcements for the podcast and other future events here.

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Have an idea that will make the world a better place? Learn about a social enterprise hub and the programs they offer to help make those ideas a reality.

There are a plethora of entrepreneurs, business owners, and startups in the Queen City. Many of these companies are on a mission to provide solutions to complex social and environmental challenges. Those companies and businesses sometimes turn to support from social enterprise groups like Flywheel Social Enterprise Hub, a capacity-building organization for startups with social impact in the Greater Cincinnati region. 

“Social entrepreneurs build companies that provide solutions to complex social and environmental challenges, either through the products and services they offer or the populations they employ,” says Josie Dalton, Program Manager at Flywheel. “We support these entrepreneurs through programming, resources, and connections to help them develop sustainable business models and maximize their impact.”

One of these ways Flywheel offers support is through its flagship program, the 10-week Elevator Social Impact Accelerator, as well as through workshops and coaching opportunities for early-stage social entrepreneurs throughout the year.

The inspiration behind Flywheel is that they want to help social entrepreneurs find customers, talent, and capital – just as any other entrepreneur needs. 

“Flywheel recognized these needs, and developed our programs to connect passionate founders with the rich resources and collaborative partners in the StartupCincy community,” says Dalton. “We’ve also identified the particular challenge of access to capital for social impact startup founders. Seeing this wide gap in access to capital has inspired a new element of our mission: catalyzing a community of investors in the Cincinnati region who will use alternative investment models the fuel the growth of startups that generate both profit and positive impact.”

There are three different ways that the community can get involved with Flywheel: 

Social entrepreneurs who are looking for help to build and grow their startup can check out these programs: Opt In Social Enterprise Coaching, workshops, and the Elevator Social Impact Accelerator. Check out the events page (and social media channels) or reach out to josie.dalton@flywheelcincinnati.org to learn more. 

If you’re a professional looking to lend your expertise and experience to rising social entrepreneurs, Flywheel are always on the hunt for volunteer coaches, workshop facilitators, and content contributors. Fill out the volunteer form or reach out to josie.dalton@flywheelcincinnati.org for upcoming opportunities. 

Flywheel just finished its fourth run of the Elevator Social Impact Accelerator and Dalton says the program went well. 

“We’re so excited for what’s next,” she says. “Through the spring and summer, we’ll host our programs for early-stage social entrepreneurs including workshops and the Opt In Social Enterprise Coaching on a monthly basis. We’ll also have details to share about the next iteration of the Elevator Accelerator Program and application cycle.”

“We also look forward to developing more opportunities for rising impact investors to learn more about how they can fund startups in this community that will generate both financial return and social impact,” she adds. “Stay tuned!”

To learn more about Flywheel, visit www.flywheelcincinnati.org. If you want to learn more about impact investing, alternative startup financing structures, and how you can be a part of this transformative movement, reach out to bill.tucker@flywheelcincinnati.org

To keep up with Flywheel on social media, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to hear more about upcoming programs, coaching opportunities, and news from the impact investing space.

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Learn about a local pop-up mocktail bar helping you enjoy alcohol-free celebrations, connections and community.

Kristen Domke is no stranger to addiction. She’s battled the addiction of alcohol and has since been sober for nearly 18 months. In the midst of finding her sobriety, she wanted to offer a community for others like her. 

That’s when she came up with the idea of Gem City SoberBar, a sober bar that’s “popping up” all over Dayton and surrounding areas. 

“Gem City SoberBar fills the gap between coffee shops and bars,” says Domke. “We exist to bring an atmosphere that no one has ever experienced before that focuses on providing mocktails, music, and so much more. We are open to all genders, ages, races, and religions. We want to be a safe space to go to have a great time and make community through connection.”

When developing her business idea, Domke says that she wanted to offer something that would encourage connection with human beings, while also being out and about in different atmospheres. As a music lover, she also wanted to create something that incorporated that. “I wanted to encompass not just sobriety, butan artistic, healthy way to create connections while having a blast,” she adds.

There is nothing quote like Gem City SoberBar in the region. “Our mocktails are crafted to perfection for you, we want to make this an experience you will never forget,” she says.

Gem City SoberBar currently operates out of Dayton. “As we are a pop-up bar popping up at different locations, we do not have a specific space,” says Domke. “We are always up for being booked for your next baby shower, graduation, party, etc.”

The goal at Gem City SoberBar is to open a brick-and-mortar location in the next 2-3 years, but before that, Domke wants to help spread the word about the business by booking events, pop-ups, feedback, and securing new partners.

There are people all over the Dayton area that are helping to make Gem City SoberBar a versatile business in traveling to customers while also offering something for everyone at all of its events.

The menu at Gem City SoberBar includes mocktails and coffee. 

“Currently we have our favorite, a spinoff of the Moscow Mule, and our Clean Comfort – sponsored by CLEAN Cause drinks,” she says. “We like to change it up a bit from pop-up to pop-up and from event to event. We want to give customers a sense of wonder, as well as continuing to make our menu grow. We enjoy seeing which mocktails are a hit and which ones maybe we should give a rest.”

Domke says she’s currently planning a few pop-ups in the coming month. “With those, we are looking for partners, as well as locations and would love to work with anyone on that,” she says. “We are also working to put together a focus group, for feedback and more information on what you, the people, would like to see in the future from Gem City SoberBar.”

To learn more about Gem City SoberBar, you can follow along on Facebook and Instagram. You can also send an email at gemcitysoberbar@yahoo.com to be put on the mailing list, want added to the focus group, or want information on how Gem City SoberBar is growing and how you can help volunteer at events. 

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Learn about the one-day conference coming up in March that provides you with resources to enhance your happiness, freedom, and prosperity through the lens of personal finance.

The American Dream looks drastically different than it did a few decades ago. That’s the idea that Diania Merriam wanted to explore when she planned to host EconoMe, a one-day conference coming up  that provides attendees with resources to enhance their happiness, freedom, and prosperity through the lens of personal finance.

“Provocative speakers will explore the idea of a ‘new American Dream,’” Merriam explains.

With roots in the FIRE movement (financial independence, retire early), the EconoMe Conference has its sights set on helping people join the lifestyle movement of FIRE with the goal of financial freedom. Attendees will have the opportunity to watch the first documentary about the movement called Playing with FIRE as well as meetups for networking and discussions on other topics such as real estate, investing, travel hacking, healthcare options for early retirement, and more.”

“I was motivated to start a conference after the pursuit of FIRE changed my life,” says Merriam. “After I discovered blogs like Mr. Money Mustache and Frugalwoods, as well as books such as Your Money or Your Life and The Simple Path to Wealth, I used my new-found knowledge to get out of $30,000 in debt in 11 months.”

After getting herself out of debt, Merriam was able to negotiate a remote working relationship with her employer as well as a two-month unpaid sabbatical to walk the Camino de Santiago (a 500-mile trek across northern Spain).

The EconoMe Conference will take place on March 7 at the University of Cincinnati’s Great Hall at Tangeman University Center. It’ll end with a party following the event at the Woodward Theater.

Once the conference is over, Merriam says that she hopes attendees are inspired by the ideas shared through the speakers and leave feeling that they learned something valuable.

“I also hope the content expands their understanding of what is possible when it comes to their finances and creating more freedom in their lives,” she adds.

To learn more about and to purchase tickets to the EconoMe Conference, visit www.economeconference.com.

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Local freelancers, rejoice! Learn about a new coworking space that provides a creativity-inspiring space to work from home away from home.

Working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, it has its perks like working in pajamas all day, but it can also be lonely, distracting and uninspiring.

Whether you’re a freelancer or just work from home, Playground Coworks offers creatives and telecommuters in the Tri-State a space to call their “work home.”

“Playground Coworks is a shared working space, where you can be part of a community of creatives, entrepreneurs, and small business owners,” says Owner Ollie Kroner. “You can rent a desk, schedule a group meeting, or drop by.”

Playground Coworks is centrally located in Northside, above the Northside Tavern. The coworking space takes on a more casual, creatively inspiring, community-driven approach as opposed to other coworking spaces in the city. 

“These days so many people are working from home or from a coffee shop,” says Kroner. “Most people like the freedom of freelancing, but find joy in working around other creative people. Playground offers a setting where we can share ideas, work through challenges, or just take a break and have a friendly conversation.”

Playground mostly sees full-time creatives and others with creative side projects in its space, which offers an open layout, 14 individual desks, and separate meeting space. 

The goal behind the space is to encourage collaboration among its users, rather than competitiveness for freelance resources. In fact, Kroner says that there was even an instance where a logo designer and jewelry maker got together in the coworking space to complete a project.

There are several perks to becoming a member at Playground Coworks, including: flexible desks to share or dedicated desks for exclusive use, high-speed wired and wireless internet, use of conference room, 24/7 access with security codes, free coffee/espresso, storage for work items in the space, mailing address, and discounted web design and hosting.

To learn more about Playground Coworks, visit http://playgroundcoworks.com

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Ever hear of a human development professional? See how this local expert can help take your life - personally and professionally - to the next level this year.

Dr. Kathy Schulz has in-depth experience in human development, including 20 years of work as a career coach, a team development trainer, and a consultant at numerous organizations. With experience in a variety of industries including banking, consumer packaged goods, medicine, IT, and engineering, she wants to help others as a career coach and professional consultant. 

“I combined great depth and breadth of knowledge and experience with an intuitive, collaborative style,” she says. “My expertise in human behavior, together with my love of working with people, come together in seamless, customized solutions that are strategic, cost-effective, and fun.”

Schulz is a member of the American Psychological Association as well as a member, and past board member, of the Organizational Development Network. With that, she specializes in professional and personal development on all levels: individual, partners, teams, and organizations. 

“I work with a variety of clients, from larger corporations to smaller companies, and family-owned businesses to nonprofits and government agencies,” she says.

The coaching services offered by Schulz include professional life coach, personal development, executive coaching, leadership coaching, small business coaching, and relationship coaching. 

“I work on professional and personal development focusing on leadership, communication, motivation, relationship building, and conflict resolution,” she says. “I use an intuitive, authentic, inquisitive, and optimistic style that empowers my clients with the confidence they need to make real progress.”

To learn more about Schulz and her career services, visit http://ilumiainnovation.com

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The women behind many of the shops along Cincinnati’s Main Street in the Central Business District have joined forces to host events and support each other.

The women business owners of Cincinnati’s Main Street have teamed up with Cate Douglas of 3CDC to launch Women on Main, a dynamic group of Women owned businesses and entrepreneurs located on Main Street in the central business district of Downtown Cincinnati.

Marcie Hon, Owner of Down to Mars Vintage and a member of Women on Main, says that the inspiration for Women on Main came from Dr. Sarbori Bhattacharya, the owner of Balance Health Management. 

“Once she noticed how many women-owned businesses were operating, specifically on Main Street from the 6th to 8th street blocks, she decided to reach out to the business owners to plan a collaborative event,” says Hon. “Since then the group of women-owned businesses, Women on Main, has blossomed.”

The Women on Main events are rooted in spreading awareness and support of women owned businesses in the Queen City. The first Women on Main event was held over the holidays and called a “Women on Main Walk.”

“Participants used a passport created by the business owners to guide the walk and retrieve stamps at each location to show you visited,” says Hon. “The filled out passports were then used in a grand prize raffle at the end of the event, hosted at Corkopolis and accompanied by light bites from Lalo.”

Currently, plans are underway for the second Women on Main event in the New Year, which Hon says will hopefully come in the springtime. 

The businesses that participate in Women on Main include:

Yvonne Ballard of Nove Home & Body Decor (located in Algin Retro Furniture at 800 Main Street), Sewendipity Lounge (722 Main Street), Lalo Restaurant (709 Main Street), Amanda Kelly Studio (639 Main Street), Corkopolic (640 Main Street), Hair @ 633 (633 Main Street), Balance Health Management (631 Main Street), Positive Poses Yoga (631 Main Street), Art of ID (631 Main Street), Crzy Monk (627 Main Street), Bay Horse Cafe (625 Main Street), Down to Mars Vintage (621 Main Street), and The Barre Code (615 Main Street). 

Hon says that the group is hoping to add more women-owned businesses to the group as they open their doors in the Central Business District.

To keep up with Women on Main, you can follow each business on social media or check out the group’s Facebook page. You can also follow them on Instagram.

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This local tech guru helps businesses thrive through her marketing agency, and inspires personal development through her conferences and a new e-book launching soon.

Kendra Ramirez, founder of Kendra Ramirez Digital Agency

Technology is such an integral part of our daily lives, and Kendra Ramirez saw an opportunity in sharing her love of technology with the world. 

Ramirez is the founder of Kendra Ramirez Digital Agency, a digital sales and marketing agency. 

“We solve lead generation and talent generation problems for our clients,” explains Ramirez. “We do this through building websites, inbound marketing, and recruitment marketing services.”

Ramirez says the inspiration for her business came from the love of technology and helping others navigate technology to grow their own businesses. 

“Technology and strategy is easy for us,” she says. “It is our natural gift and fun to problem solve on a daily basis. We have talked with many businesses over the years that consider themselves a best kept secret and we love helping them shout from the mountain tops how amazing they are so that they aren’t a secret anymore.”

In developing relationships with businesses and clients, Ramirez finds her own inspiration in doing so. She says that she enjoys working with clients who give back to the community while also fulfilling their own dreams. 

She says she finds inspiration in entrepreneurs as she cheers them on, mindset coaches who can help unlock limited beliefs for others, and her family, who offers love and support in the work that she does. 

The journey to where Ramirez is today hasn’t been a straight and narrow path. “My journey to getting here has been all about making shifts,” she explains. “Listening to our client needs and evolving to meet those needs. I started 14 years ago as a digital training and strategy business. By listening to our client needs, we had to evolve the business and add in additional services.”

Today Kendra Ramirez Digital Agency is a full-service business that offers not just strategy but also execution. “We have grown to a team of eight full-time employees and serve clients around the world,” she adds. “We are so grateful that we get to do this work.”

It’s not just the dedication to customers that makes the Kendra Ramirez Digital Agency unique. Ramirez Says, when working with clients, the agency takes a look at the business holistically, not just through a marketing lens. 

“We have grown up in business development and recruiting before getting into marketing,” she explains. “We work with our clients to pull all the pieces together and tie it back to their business strategy. Our clients love our consultative approach to addressing their needs. We aren’t just task masters. We ask lots of questions to understand the real issues and concerns of our clients before jumping in. We have worked with over 700 companies in the past 14 years. There is massive value in the combined learnings over the years.”

Ramirez says that she’s looking forward to the New Year as she releases an e-Book in January.

“It is a collection of tips by marketers and things they wish they knew when taking on a role in marketing and the nuances of being a marketing team of one,” she says. 

Ramirez is also busy planning her Reset Conference on January 30 from 9am-12pm. “We have three amazing mindset speakers that will be sharing tips on how to set yourself up for the best year yet,” she adds.

To learn more about Kendra Ramirez Digital Agency, visit kendraramirez.com. There you can find digital agency efforts. You can also find mindset support at thereset.co.

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Ready to make business connections that benefit both you and the community in the near year? Learn about the Chamber’s Roundtable Kick-Off in January.

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is hosting its annual Leadership Roundtable Kickoff on January 22 at the Cintas Center.

The event will feature bestselling author Bo Burlingham, author of Small Giants. 

During the event, Burlingham will discuss what he learned while writing his book about 14 small-to-midsize, privately owned companies that are widely acknowledged as being the best at what they do, and that have been given notice for the contributions those companies have made to their communities.

“He found that they all had what he calls mojo – an elusive quality that makes them irresistible to customers and employees alike,” the Chamber says. “Their mojo, he showed, comes from six characteristics they have in common. In his presentation, Burlingham talks about those characteristics and describes the specific techniques that companies use to generate mojo.”

The Leadership Roundtables are designed to help connect non-competitive C-Suite business leaders from a variety of industries and organizations from around the city. The roundtables help to offer an exchange of information, ideas, and insights while also giving leaders the chance to understand and share the unique challenges they face in their positions.

“Each roundtable consists of 8-12 business leaders in similar roles and provides an opportunity to learn directly from each other as well as guest speakers,” the Chamber says.

There are many benefits to joining Leadership Roundtables, which are now part of the Chamber’s Talent Pillar. “The team is focused on developing and connecting top leaders in our region, strengthening businesses and helping the region thrive,” adds the Chamber.

Benefits of joining the roundtables include tailored business and leadership workshops, behind-the-scenes community experiences, and pop-up lunches and happy hours that focus on a current business topic, facilitator and moderator training.

For those who are thinking of joining the Leadership Roundtable program, the Chamber says it’s important for leaders to join a roundtable that best meets their needs and expectations. 

“Individuals are placed based upon the current composition of existing roundtables, the membership needs of current members, the expectations of those seeking to join and desire to sustain a non competitive environment,” the Chamber shares. “In addition, there is the opportunity to become a founding member of a brand-new roundtable. New roundtables are created by the Chamber based upon the compatibility and interest of prospective members.”

Current available roundtables from the Chamber include, CEO Roundtables, CFO Roundtables, COO Roundtables, IT Roundtables, CMO Roundtables, Manufacturing Roundtables, CSO Roundtables, CHRO Roundtables, and Supply Chain Roundtables. 

To learn more about the Chamber’s Leadership Roundtables and how you can apply, click here

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A new report on the growth and development of minority-owned businesses in the city is out. Keep reading for all the details.

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has a group dedicated to accelerating and developing minority businesses in the city through its Minority Business Accelerator.

The Minority Business Accelerator has a goal to help expand the minority entrepreneurial community in the region by helping to accelerate the growth and development of sizable African-American and Hispanic owned businesses. 

The Minority Business Accelerator does this by providing individually-tailored advisory support and docaching to help Minority Business Enterprises to obtain what they need to be successful while also acting as an extension of another program to connect them with MBE Portfolio Firms.

Since its inception in 2003, the Minority Business Accelerator has worked to address disparity in the region’s business community to drive economic activity and increase employment in underemployed segments.

Because the Chamber has a goal of growing the aggregate annual revenues of minority businesses in the region by $1 billion and creating 3,500 jobs by the end of 2022, they want to offer a yearly update on its Minority Business Accelerator with an annual report.

“This bold vision and plan have galvanized regional and national stakeholders desiring to partner with us to not only accomplish something transformational for Greater Cincinnati, but something that might truly inform and transform this work across the nation,” says Cynthia Booth, Minority Business Accelerator Board Chair. “Our four key pillars to achieve these bold goals, which are to grow our existing portfolio firms, build a robust pipeline, attract larger-scale minority firms to the region, and create new minority firms via acquisition of mainstream businesses, have each enjoyed major developments over the past year, and have collectively served to further elevate and position the Minority Business Accelerator as a national best practice.”

To learn more about the Minority Business Accelerator at the Chamber, click here