One of the world”s most valuable brands, Apple, started in Steve Jobs” garage with an order for 50 computers. Walt Disney built what has become the highest grossing media conglomerate in the world. With his unstoppable imagination, Disney started animating cartoon shorts at his uncle”s house. Amazon, the world”s largest online retailer, began as a simplistic idea for a web-based bookstore. Google, Harley Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Mattel… the list goes on and on. What do these successful companies have in common? They were each born in the mind of an entrepreneur.
“Entrepreneur” and “small business” are terms that describe how countless fledgling businesses began. They are also descriptors of the future economic growth and success of our community and our region. Small businesses are the engines that drive the economy. During the last 20 years, small businesses were responsible for creating 64 percent of net new jobs in the United States. Of the 21,000 businesses in Gwinnett, 75% of them have 10 employees or fewer, and 98% have 50 employees or fewer. Successful small business leaders have learned how to recognize an opportunity and go after it, as the incredibly varied Gwinnett economy demonstrates every day.
The Gwinnett Chamber and local leaders are committed to creating the right business climate to help these companies and their visionary leaders succeed. In addition to our community”s pro-business environment, there is a vast array of resources available to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses in Gwinnett.
Small Business Essentials is a program developed by the Gwinnett Chamber to provide small business owners with the necessary information and resources to help navigate the best possible path to start or grow their business. These bi-monthly “on the road” meetings, held at various locations throughout the county, are facilitated by industry experts who have the knowledge and experience to explain how to tackle the issues many small business owners face. These meetings are free and open to anyone, Chamber members and non-members alike.
Another Chamber program series, Eat & Educate, provides small business owners with in-person, topic-specific opportunities to acquire the tools they need to be successful in business. Topics include surviving the first five years, finance and cash flow, legal and compliance issues, business plans, setting goals, minority assistance, networking, sales training, marketing, tradeshow tips, and more.
By offering small business owners access to the education and resources required to manage their businesses more effectively, there will be a positive ripple effect on the local economy and community. Entrepreneurs and small businesses will be able to learn the keys to thriving in today”s global economy and in the future.
It is easy to think of companies such as Apple, Disney, and Amazon and say, “I could never do something like that.” Successful entrepreneurs and small business leaders will see those same Fortune 500 companies and say, “Why can”t I do something like that?” You see, business – like life – is not about where you start. It”s where you end up that counts.