Success Story: Building a Business Support Network
Deborah Osgood is the Chief Architect and Cofounder of Buzgate.org, a public service resource and referral community helping millions of women and minorities to start, grow and succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Familiar with the challenges that women in business face, Ms. Osgood created Buzgate.org to help women discover and develop business support networks by connecting then to thousands of available free business assistance programs that exist to provide a wide range of expertise in areas such as business planning, funding, marketing, importing, exporting and more. Ms. Osgood also volunteers countless hours providing free business counseling, training and mentoring to women around the globe.
The SMEToolKit incorporates much of Buzgate.org's content to further assist women and minorities in building support networks by learning about and utilizing these valuable programs. Through Ms. Osgood's volunteer work, many women around the globe are discovering the SMEToolKit and utilizing the valuable content presented there to improve their business development progress.
For example, Ms. Osgood is mentoring a woman entrepreneur in Iraq through a pilot program out of the U.S. State Department. By providing a link to the SMEToolKit, her client was able to access a business planning template that allowed her to advance her plans to launch a business training Institute to assist fellow Iraqi citizens in developing the knowledge and skills to launch their own small business ventures.
Through content-sharing collaborations with Buzgate.org, the SMEToolKit is providing valuable information on a range of business management disciplines including cash flow management, strategic analysis, business funding, franchising, human resources and e-commerce.
Kate Schwartz, entrepreneur and physical therapist, has owned and operated a physical therapy firm for over 14 years and employs 10 other people. By using the SMEToolKit, Ms. Schwartz was able to learn about a cost-effective payroll solution for her business. Tina Snow learned how to register her new Hair Salon business by learning about an online incorporation service through the SMEToolKit, and Holly Hunt expanded her massage therapy clientele by utilizing marketing research and planning tools.
Ms. Osgood has a simple mantra that she equates much of her business success to. She shares this with other professional women to encourage their personal progress as well:
"As you wander on through life, whatever may be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole."
For those women who see their doughnut as succeeding in business, the SMEToolKit offers a robust source of information, resources and contacts for building and maintaining powerful business support networks.