One Spark, Lessons for Young Black Entrepreneurials
One Spark is the world’s crowdfunding festival.
The collective effort of individuals who network and pool
their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts
initiated by other people or organizations
The lessons from One Spark should be lessons for
young Black entrepreneurials and professionals
about the value of vision, collaboration, perseverance,
ingenuity, innovation and planning.
The wisdom to be progressive and innovative is being
shown in the One Spark celebration and competitive
nature of this national event and even in the business
sense of Marketing and Promoting a vision that
encompasses the visions of others. Held in Jacksonville,
Florida there are entrepreneurials that are local, national
and international. Sharing a common goal, using diverse
strategies for success.
The range of services, talents and skills can be seen from
artistic abilities like The Adrian Pickett Experience a native
Jacksonville artist located at The Jacksonville Landing to
Marsha Hatcher a visual artist also local in the Jacksonville
community. Food vendors Celebs Corner Kitchen –
736 A. Phillip Randolph Blvd. where they have the best
shrimp and grits in Jacksonville; business and
entrepreneurial supporters like E3 Business Group that
supports young business owners and aspiring entrepreneurials.
Several groups focused on the needs of young girls.
Girls Rock of Jacksonville, Florida provides a summer
camp for ages 9 to 16. Girls Rock uses music and performance
as a platform to promote creativity and self-confidence.
The ability to sustain and grow for Black businesses faces
challenges outside of monetary issues. There is Marketing,
establishing a client base, customer service, payroll, insurance,
taxes, inventory, even technology applications.
Entrepreneurials participating in One Spark must understand
the value of networking, applying tools of Social
Media platforms, the ability of effectively communicating
verbally. Articulation and dialogue are the lessons of the multi
day event, a firm handshake when speaking, the importance
of eye contact, remembering names, sharing educational and
unique skill sets that set a person apart from the crowd.
These lessons are what young Black entrepreneurials
learn to be able to compete in a global economy starting in
their local communities.
One Spark embraced new ideas and allowed the sharing
of experiences with seasoned business owners, inventors,
visionaries, intellectuals and innovators. Events such
as this should be embraced by young Black professionals
to sharpen their business knowledge and build their
networks. Locally, networking opportunities are available
through events such as Power Move Mondays and
socials provided by Impact Jax of the Jacksonville
Chamber of Commerce and networking opportunities
for new entrepreneurs by E3 Business Group. The access
to local professional and business networking and social
events should never be overlooked. In a business environment
being shy and timid is a recipe for failure. Anthony Butler, Sr.
of E3 puts it this way stating, “It chess not checkers.” “You
have to know how to position yourself with the skills you have,
and not be scared to add to those skills in order to grow.”
Business creates and is impacted by multiple paradigm
shifts (Anthony Butler, E3). One Spark created an impact
in Jacksonville on multiple levels. Economically by pumping
millions of dollars into the economy. Socially by allowing
an estimated 130,000 people attending the 5-day festival
in downtown Jacksonville – http://beonespark.tumblr.com/
Opportunities to meet, interact, share ideas and establish
business relationships that potentially can foster future business
partnerships and collaborations.
Educationally for students in high school and higher
education their education is vital and empowering to their
future. A high school diploma is a foundation to build on,
the foundation that higher education, vocational education
and life experiences are priceless.
Black students need to learn what they are learning now is
empowering for their future, but they must choose to apply
their knowledge, talents and abilities. Black students must
learn to expand their vision from local to global for careers
even when family and friends say their dreams are stupid,
dumb or unattainable. They must follow their dreams and their
Technology and the connectivity, interaction and self
sustainability of Social Media platforms, developing
and creating tools for careers in agriculture, science, medicine,
health care and the list continues. Black students must
learn to use Social Media platforms beyond entertainment
and embarrassing sexual situations, drug use, cultural
violence, bullying and other damaging activities.
Young Black professionals should understand that even
when not “on the clock” professional behavior should be
exhibited at all times; just as with educators and educational
administrators. They are always judged by their behaviors
even in public. The professional behaviors at One Spark is
a testament to “pressing the flesh” “eye to eye contact”
and “know thy self.” Exhibit self-confidence and knowledge.
Education is a key component to growing in and with business.
Any opportunity to learn is beneficial, workshops such as
“So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur?” (Anthony Butler, Sr
E3 Business Group), Marketing and Branding Yourself (Tiffany
Duhart), Social Media and Young Professionals; Blogging for
Your Life and I Will Survive Bullying (William Jackson) and
others are being offered by these seasoned professionals.
Young professionals take advantage of these and other trainings
that are available. Build your strengths and versatility so when
the next One Spark becomes available young Black professionals
will have the necessary skills and vision to make a noise and
be seen as serious participant’s not just standing by.
Dr. Noam Wasserman, of the Harvard Business School stated;
“many of the base skills (of business) can be taught, but they
(entrepreneurs) must be complimented with real-world work
to prepare them for industry. Business pitfalls may be
avoided and an increase in their success rates in business.”
Jacksonville, Florida has a Mayor with vision and forward
thinking in the growth of Jacksonville, Florida. Mayor Alvin
Brown is creating a new and growing paradigm that is
encouraging more business opportunities. A archetype of
change and expansion is happening. Black business owners,
professionals, entrepreneurs, dreamers, visionaries, and
youth must become engaged and involved if not they will
be left on the platform as the train rolls away from the station.
Learn more at
E3 Business Group
Power Move Mondays
William Jackson, M.Ed.