I know what you're thinking - another "entrepreneurship program, huh?"
How can entrepreneurship be taught in a classroom? But this isn't at all what you're thinking.
Corner To Corner is an organization that is bringing the Nashville community together, and working to enhance already thriving "side hustles" and turn them into businesses that are growing by 20-30% each year, resulting in real income support for families.
The proof is in the results. Corner to Corner has already "graduated" nearly 40 entrepreneurs (with 40 more scheduled for this spring), who already had a passion and a vision and were making money on the side with their ideas. Now, they have a team around them, a larger network of support, a more air-tight business playbook, and are generating far more money than they were before the program.
That, my friends, is a real entrepreneurship program. As a businessman, I'm pumped out this.
But that's not all Corner To Corner is doing. I sat down with their Co-Founder, Will Acuff at their office in the McGruder Family Resource Center in Nashville for a tour and an episode of my podcast, and here is what I learned.
Corner to Corner is helping the youth skip the school to prison pipeline via their after school education program, focusing on reading, tutoring and baking.
According to Acuff, reading is the biggest predictor of the school to prison outcome.
A lot of the kids Corner To Corner works with have working parents, often working multiple jobs, so the baking program helps them become more well-rounded in the kitchen and not just using the microwave.
Another huge part of the education program is what Will calls "sneaky math skills," and I can attest to these skills being extremely important to building businesses.
Will is also very excited about a new video program for the kids launching this summer. And quite frankly, this is where I get even more excited too.
As a certified SCRUM master with a background in software development, Will calls Corner To Corner "an Agile non-profit."
"I'm a big fan of - if something's not working - blow it up or tweak it and iterate until it's good," Acuff says. "It's really hard to get kids to fall in love with reading. So after thinking through everything that was working for us, we decided what if we try something new that drafts off the kid's love for movie and video. So we're going to watch one of their favorite movies, and then we're going to bring in the script, and show them that this started with reading and writing...
...then we're going to write their own stories, and turn them into a script, then we're going to film them on iPhones."
There it is. Corner To Corner is not only helping current businesspeople in the community increase their income after completing their entrepreneurship program, but they're working on teaching the Nashville youth in the local neighborhoods how to build immediate skills and knowledge that will make them more valuable in whatever they pursue as a career path.
Reflecting on this, I think in order to connect with our communities and give back, we have to be passionate about the cause. Will and his team absolutely are, and meeting them and talking with them has connected me to a potential path to give back myself. We'll see what happens moving forward, but it's certainly exciting to be connected to such a great group of people!
Thanks for reading / watching - and have a great day!
Paul Hickey has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.