image of Ballou Knights High School exterior in Washington, DC

Give Back to Your Community

For the past five years, I’ve been an active member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, better known as EO. We are a worldwide organization with 168 chapters located on six continents. I’m a member of EO DC, where I am honored to be on the board. We are a group of 150 like-minded CEOs, representing every type of business you can think of. Through our organization, members can learn and grow as entrepreneurs.

 

As a 44-year entrepreneur myself, I have had my share of ups and downs in business. EO has taught me more about running a successful business than any other advisor, coach, or expert I’ve known, with the exception of my grandfather—who by the way never made it past the 10th grade. He became massively successful during his business career despite his lack of formal education.

 

One thing I was taught at an early age was the benefit of giving back to my community. After all, I have been in the same one my entire life: the Washington, DC, metro area. I just finished the most rewarding community service program of my career.

 

EO DC partners with an organization called Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). NFTE is a volunteer organization that builds startup skills in youth from under-resourced communities to ensure their success and to help create a more vibrant society. I was part of a group of EO members assigned to work with students at Ballou High School, a state-of-the art facility in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Southeast DC.

 

Students were given the assignment of coming up with a viable business and creating a model they could take to investors to get funded. It was much like the model used on the TV show “Shark Tank.” Our mission was to assist the students in building their business plans.

 

This past week, the young men and women completed their assignment and it was time for them to present their ideas to their fellow classmates as our EO group judged the presentations. It was exciting to see proposals for services in the community: a barbershop, a pet-sitting company, and a hair-weave salon, among others. Each and every student did an amazing job, and we were so proud of them.

 

I cannot express how invigorating it was to guide these young people through this exercise and teach them lessons about the business world they may not have learned without this opportunity. I thank my EO companions for this chance to help others. I challenge each of you reading this story to see how you, too, can expand the opportunities in your community. The reward is priceless!

 

Written by Marc S.Berman, President and CEO of  Vector Talent Resources. For more information about how Vector Talent Resources can help you, contact Marc at marc@vectortalent.com or call us at 703.639.2160.

 

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