Entrepreneur: Building Your Community

Entrepreneur: Building Your Community

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You can’t open a newspaper in Cincinnati without reading about the next big idea and the entrepreneur behind it all. It is a hot topic that has some of the brightest minds in the city investing in our regions start-up companies. But for many, it seems like the entrepreneurial community is limited to just that; entrepreneurs. But I will challenge you that it is important to consider your role in the movement.


Entrepreneurs don’t just live on the west coast, have business degrees, wear skinny jeans, and own MacBooks. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and span a wide range of industries, each with their own unique story.


Robin Gentry is the perfect example. In 2005, her father slipped on black ice and experienced traumatic brain damage, leading him through two life threatening surgeries. After doctors gave him a very minimal chance for survival, Robin took action, using her passion for and knowledge of nutrition as her greatest weapon.


After picking up her father’s feeding tube formula, Robin was astounded to learn that the primary ingredients were high fructose corn syrup and various forms of oils and chemicals. She immediately began looking for a natural alternative that she could administer to her father.


Robin could not find a solution. So, like every entrepreneur, she decided to create a solution for the problem she pinpointed. She developed the first-ever, all-natural, organic feeding tube formula that she administered to her father. Her father, who had little chance of survival, began to improve and come out of his coma. Robin’s formula contributed to extending and improving her father’s life.


Now, Robin’s formula, “Liquid Hope,” is improving the lives of thousands of people across the country surviving on feeding tubes. From young children with childhood diseases to athletes, to the elderly, Robin’s formula is improving lives.


I share Robin’s story with you to highlight why supporting entrepreneurs is so important. Robin has committed years to making her business a nationwide success and is poised for dramatic growth. It’s entrepreneurs like Robin and start-up companies of all kinds that are changing our community and our world. Start-up companies in the region are changing our communities by generating revenue being spent in the region, employing Cincinnatians, and driving redevelopment in our neighborhoods.


However, start-up companies are only successful to the extent they are supported by their community. An entrepreneur is a person with a great idea, for which they have great passion. But, most entrepreneurs with little funding are required to wear every hat and do everything to develop their company. The more support an entrepreneur receives from the community, the more successful they can become. Entrepreneurs need professionals and experts who are willing to teach them and consult with them in areas they have no expertise. They need customers who are willing to support them through the many changing phases of the start-up stage. They need a community that will spread the word about what they are doing. They need a city that will make their success a priority.


There are amazing ideas incubating in our city; ideas that have solutions to the problems we are facing as country, ideas that will create jobs and generate revenue in our city, and ideas that will bring national spotlight to the region. It is time for every Cincinnatian to play a role in redeveloping our city.


So next time you are walking up Woodburn Ave. to get a new ‘do at Parlour, or chasing down the Streetpops cart at Findlay Market, or looking for the next event to attend on Hapzing, consider what else you can do to support the start-up companies in your community. Whether that is investing in them, shopping with them, volunteering your time and expertise, advocating on a start-up company’s behalf, or interning for one of the great incubators in town, consider how you will help the improvement of our city. I would argue that it all starts with our start-ups.


Learn more about Robin’s story at www.functionalformularies.

\Corey Drushal became the Executive Director of Bad Girl Ventures, Inc., in February of 2013 after serving with the organization for two and a half years. Under Drushal�s guidance, the Cincinnati-based Bad Girl Ventures, Inc. supports their three current program locations in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. Propelled by continuous innovation and strategic long range planning, Drushal will helm BGV�s continued growth to bring their powerful, results-driven activities to even more female entrepreneurs in the coming years. Drushal�s leadership is punctuated first by her passion for supporting women through micro-enterprise and next by her valuable experience. Prior to her directorship with BGV, Drushal accumulated a long history of public service and her legal education at Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Drushal now resides in the Cincinnati area with her husband and the unofficial mascot of BGV, their beagle named Dixie.\