See the FOX 13 news clip below, followed by a press release regarding a program I am involved in to award a deserving new Tampa Bay entrepreneur $25,000 in pro bono services.
Tampa Bay Small Business Jumpstart Contest
Will Award Budding Entrepreneur $25,000 Prize
The Jumpstart package provides a wide collection of FREE start-up services to help a
local victim of downsizing create their own small business
TAMPA, Fla. (May 18, 2009) – In honor of national Small Business Week, eight local business entities, including have banned together to launch the Tampa Bay Small Business Jumpstart contest. The contest winner will receive $25,000 in pro bono business start up services to launch a company of their own.
To qualify, aspiring entrepreneurs must meet two primary criteria:
They lost their job due to the economic crunch (laid off, downsized, etc)
They are not looking for a new job with another company or organization, but instead, have either decided to start a business of their own in the last six months or plan to start a business within the next two months.
The Jumpstart winner will receive a package of services that includes internet marketing and web site development, on-site IT support, a public relations campaign, office space and receptionist support for nine months, start-up accounting services, life coaching, printing services and ongoing business planning and counseling. Full details on the award package are posted at http://www.tampajumpstart.com/.
Jumpstart contest applications will be available online at http://www.tampajumpstart.com/ on May 18, 2009 and are due at 5 p.m. on June 18, 2009. There is a $20 application fee, and all contest proceeds will be donated to the Hillsborough Achievement Resource Center, which serves disabled adults.
The Jumpstart concept originated with Jeremy Knauff, CEO of Wildfire Marketing Group and author of School’s Out: A Real World Guide to Marketing Your Business from A to Z.
“There are a lot of people out there who have lost their jobs due to the economy,” Knauff said, “and that reality drove me to recruit like-minded business people who wanted to help at least one person overcome an unfortunate hardship.”
Jumpstart participant Karen Gillman, sales coordinator at Intelligent Office in Tampa, was one of the first to team up with Knauff.
“Today, with so many people facing unexpected changes in their careers, the Small Business JumpStart contributors felt compelled to provide some assistance to someone who wants to change their life in a very significant way,” Gillman said. “To start a new company after losing a job requires so many things – not to mention courage, determination and creativity – but you also need tangible resources like office space, marketing materials and advisors. That’s where we knew we could help.”
Who are the Jumpstart contributors?
Providing life coaching:
Clestine Herbert, Divine Discipline, http://www.divinediscipline.com/
Providing public relations services:
Julie Heidelberg*, Heidelberg PR, http://www.heidelbergpr.com/
Providing virtual office services and meeting space:
Karen Gillman*, Intelligent Office, http://www.intelligentoffice.com/
Providing on-site IT support services:
Louis Ayoub*, IntelliTECHs, http://www.intellitechs.com/
Providing printing services:
David Bell*, PA Printing Service, http://www.paprintingservices.com/
Providing accounting services:
Rosella Rinaldo Paul*, CPA, Rosella.Paul@rosellapaulcpa.com
Providing ongoing business planning and counseling services:
Kim Wagner, USF Small Business Development Center, http://sbdc.usf.edu/
Providing Internet marketing and web site development services:
Jeremy Knauff, Wildfire Marketing Group, http://www.wildfiremarketinggroup.com/
*These contributors are also members of the “Profit Pros” chapter of a Tampa Business Networking International (BNI) chapter.
For more information about the Tampa Bay Small Business Jumpstart contest, the contributors, the application and the award package, please visit http://www.tampajumpstart.com/.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Headshots of the contributors are available through Heidelberg PR.