34 episodes

Small businesses comprise over 99% of the companies in America and, before COVID-19, they provided nearly half the jobs in the country. Small business is one of the most trusted institutions in American society today (67%), far outstripping big business in measures of public trust (25%, Gallup, 2018). Small businesses and their entrepreneurial founders exemplify the values associated with the American Dream: they believe in free enterprise and the strength of their own vision, they work hard despite obstacles and, ultimately, their success lifts up not only themselves and their families, but those around them. Small businesses are our “Main Street”, the heart and soul of our urban neighborhoods and small towns, and their owners are often the first to respond to community needs, challenges and crises. At the same time, small businesses have been among those hardest hit by the coronavirus, with 60% of small businesses closing their doors, many permanently. Black-owned small businesses have been particularly devastated, with nearly half closing by the end of April 2020 (Forbes). The purpose of Start Small, Dream BIG is to celebrate the courage, vision and tenacity of small business owners of all kinds and to highlight their contribution to our communities and the American Dream.

Start Small, Dream BIG Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Small businesses comprise over 99% of the companies in America and, before COVID-19, they provided nearly half the jobs in the country. Small business is one of the most trusted institutions in American society today (67%), far outstripping big business in measures of public trust (25%, Gallup, 2018). Small businesses and their entrepreneurial founders exemplify the values associated with the American Dream: they believe in free enterprise and the strength of their own vision, they work hard despite obstacles and, ultimately, their success lifts up not only themselves and their families, but those around them. Small businesses are our “Main Street”, the heart and soul of our urban neighborhoods and small towns, and their owners are often the first to respond to community needs, challenges and crises. At the same time, small businesses have been among those hardest hit by the coronavirus, with 60% of small businesses closing their doors, many permanently. Black-owned small businesses have been particularly devastated, with nearly half closing by the end of April 2020 (Forbes). The purpose of Start Small, Dream BIG is to celebrate the courage, vision and tenacity of small business owners of all kinds and to highlight their contribution to our communities and the American Dream.

    S4, Ep. 1: Driven to Succeed

    S4, Ep. 1: Driven to Succeed

    Propelled to a sense of responsibility at the age of 6 by the sudden death of his father, C. Anthony Parker stumbled into entrepreneurship at a young age. From paper routes, to setting up a landscaping business on foot, to opening four car dealerships by the age of 23, C. Anthony was constantly evolving his business enterprises. And he did it all without graduating high school, getting financial support from banks, or using credit. Now, 21 years after founding his first dealership, C. Anthony has learned a lot, he has great credit, and he knows how to build strong and resilient businesses.
    On this episode of Start Small, Dream BIG we hear from C. Anthony Parker about his journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur, how he educated himself outside of the conventional school system, and how his desire for financial stability increased his tenacity and resilience in the face of challenges and failures in business, leading him to his latest successful company, Elk Auto Spa.

    • 26 min
    S4, Ep 2: Quick on Her Feet

    S4, Ep 2: Quick on Her Feet

    When Tiffany Nordé met her husband on the dance floor of a mutual friend’s party, she didn’t know that over a decade later she would leave her career in higher education to start a new career in this long-held pastime of dance. When COVID-19 hit just as her new business was taking off, she had to quickly re-structure her classes, embracing the outdoors and the rise of virtual classes that we all know so well by now. In doing so, she kept her business afloat.
    On this episode of Start Small, Dream BIG, Tiffany discusses the role that dance has played in shaping her life, the importance of mentorship in her entrepreneurial journey, and how her background in Intercultural Ministry shapes her outlook and work.

    • 23 min
    S4, Ep 3: Squeaky Clean

    S4, Ep 3: Squeaky Clean

    When COVID-19 hit, Caryn Clopton was in a better position than many of her fellow small business owners because her cleaning company, Excel Cleaning Services, specialized in disinfecting spaces. They were therefore classified as an essential business and were able to continue their services through those uncertain early months of the pandemic, without a single employee contracting COVID.
    On this episode of Start Small, Dream BIG, Caryn discusses her winding path to entrepreneurship (which included a high school passion for flying planes), how mentorship has helped her sustain her business, and her plans for expansion.

    • 18 min
    S4, Ep 4: Fresh Squeezed

    S4, Ep 4: Fresh Squeezed

    After finding reprieve from a month-long bout of the flu in 2016 through juicing, Najee Ellerbe spent the next 2 years researching and gaining certifications in juicing for health. In 2018 he started his business Everybody’s Juice in his home city of Washington, DC.
    On this episode of Start Small, Dream BIG, Najee discusses founding a business, how he finds support in his networks, and Everybody’s Juice’s place in the DC community.

    • 33 min
    S4, Ep 6 : Lets Go Outdoors

    S4, Ep 6 : Lets Go Outdoors

    With vision, dedication, and an entrepreneurial spirit, Tarsha Scovens laid the foundation for Let's Go Outdoors, a community organization devoted to encouraging people of color to experience nature. In 2012, Tarsha won the Turning Point Prize, which funded Let's Go Outdoors and paved the way for Tarsha and her twin sister Keisha to follow their life's passion.
    On this episode of "Start Small, Dream BIG," Tarsha discusses her evolution as an entrepreneur, her organization's impact on the community, and how her American dream took shape.

    • 28 min
    S3, Ep 1: Silver is Gold in the Longevity Economy

    S3, Ep 1: Silver is Gold in the Longevity Economy

    Elizabeth Isele is the Founder and CEO of The Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship.

    She is an expert storyteller, speaker, and author. Her work celebrates the global impact of entrepreneurs in the longevity economy. Longevity economy entrepreneurs are the fastest-growing portion of the economy powered by individuals over 50 years. Elizabeth’s work views the American Dream as an intergenerational effort requiring teamwork, resilience and courage.

    Listen to this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to learn more.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Hambone92 ,

Great Podcast!

Great Podcast! Great stories

Kittcat061 ,

Uplifting

Kerry does a great job of letting her guests tell their fascinating backstories and their on going evolutions as true American dreamers and achievers. More, please.

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