The Paducah Chamber is expanding its small business programming with the launch of a Mastermind Cohort Group to begin this summer and continue for the next nine months. The application process will open on May 1 and continue through June 4 and is open to all small business owners in Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois.
The program is an executive education cohort program, established for small business owners. Participants will learn what they need to grow their small business through this intensive program. The Presenting Sponsor is Murray State University’s Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (CEED). The Supporting Sponsor is West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s Workforce Solutions. Other sponsorships are available.
The Chamber has engaged Mike Michalowciz, nationally recognized entrepreneur and author of multiple books, for a three-part program in 2021 that includes an exclusive kick off in June with members of the cohort. He will also appear virtually at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Business Celebration in September and with a new book launch in October.
Participants will begin with identifying needs of their business and be grouped with like-minded professionals who will provide mentorship, peer-to-peer learning, accountability and support. The program will provide participants the tools to accelerate business growth, fill in knowledge gaps and provide insights, strategies and networks necessary to grow and scale. Murray State University’s CEED and West Kentucky Community and Technical College Workforce Solutions will provide the business curriculum for the program. Other speakers and consultants will be utilized to ensure the program’s success.
“This is about creating and sustaining successful businesses in our community to create more economic growth and jobs,” said Sandra Wilson, Chamber President. “This cohort group will focus on setting time aside to identify their projected growth areas, learn more about areas that may be holding them back, have a support group, learn from other peers, rely on an accountability coach to keep on track, learn from coaches in specific problem areas, and build confidence to help them get to the next level of success.”
Michalowicz is the entrepreneur behind three multi-million-dollar companies and is also the author of “Profit First,” “Clockwork,” and “The Pumpkin Plan.” He is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal and regularly travels the globe as an entrepreneurial advocate.
The cohort will use Michalowciz’s book, “Fix this Next,” as the basis of their study. In addition to receiving the “Fix This Next” book, they will also participate in two video conferences with him, participate in his new book launch, “Get Different,” and receive a copy of the new book. They will also receive a ticket and be recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Business Celebration.
In “Fix This Next,” Michalowicz details the strategy businesses can use to determine what to do and in what order, to ensure healthy, fast, permanent growth (and avoid debilitating distractions). The Chamber’s initiative is intended to work in coordination with existing community incubators to address current gaps and ensure businesses and entrepreneurs at all stages have the resources they need to grow.
Participants will gain insight on how to be a more profitable business and build vital networks needed to thrive. The Chamber is looking for 25 to 30 participants with a desire to invest in themselves and their future business success.
“Too many small business owners start working in their business and not running their business,” said Jessica Newman, the Chamber’s Vice Chair of Small Business and owner of Advantage Insurance Services. “The pandemic was unprecedented but there are other emergencies to be prepared for too, such as an ice storm or fire. You need to know how to long term weather any storm.”
The cost to participate is $750. Three scholarships are available for minority owned businesses made possible by the MacKenzie Scott gift titled the “WKCTC Guarantee: Our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”
“We are offering a money back guarantee for the fee (less the cost of the books and celebration ticket), to help show our commitment to these business owners,” said Wilson.
Applications will be available online at paducahchamber.org on May 1 with the deadline to apply June 4. For more information, contact the Chamber at 270-443-1746 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.