Where We Started

In April 2020, Leah Ward-Lee, serial entrepreneur and author of $1,000 Start-Ups, and Tony Lee, business owner and author of The Bartender’s Guide to Financial Freedom, were looking for a way to help during the Covid-19 epidemic. They decided to offer Zoom courses and up to a $1,000 business start-up funding to anyone in the local area who successfully completed the course work.

In less than a week, they shared the information with their friends and with the Steering Committee of Breaking the Barriers – Cracking the Codes and scheduled two information sessions.

The Businesses That are Involved

There are twelve businesses participating in the program

  1. A retired educator who was already in the process of launching a business as a Doula. A doula is a trained companion who is not a healthcare professional and who supports another individual through a significant health-related experience, such as childbirth.
  2. A high school senior who is launching a business as a personal trainer.
  3. A social worker who has three children at home, is a certified herbalist and who has developed and is launching a product line.
  4. A mechanical engineer who has studied renewable energy is launching a business installing residential home energy packages.
  5. A young mother is launching a product line of CBD edibles and intends to open a cafe in Colorado.
  6. A retired psychiatric nurse has written and plans to self-publish a book about how to get help for your loved ones.
  7. A young man with fashion sense is launching a business as a model that will lead to a product line.
  8. A father with a young daughter has already launched a commercial cleaning business but has joined the class to network and develop a growth path.
  9. A substitute teacher and mom with two children is a gourmet food producer and is launching a product line that will lead to a food truck.
  10. An experienced entrepreneur is launching a business that will fund the establishment of a local shop that sells both her products and those that are locally produced.
  11. A graphic designer with a web design business is launching a pet portrait business.
  12. An author who works in the service industry and is an owner of a handyman business.

What Has the Class Been Doing?

In the Entrepreneurship Class we’ve:

  1. Developed a Brief Business Description and a Professional Bio
  2. Conducted a Competitive Analysis
  3. Learned about Marketing Tools
  4. Began Developing Our Marketing Plans

In the Financial Management Class we’ve:

  1. Developed an Understanding of How Much We’re Spending Each Month
  2. Set a Goal to Reduce that Spending by 10%
  3. Started Tracking our Progress against our Spending Goal
  4. Developed a Contingency Plan that Included a “Side Hussle” to Increasing Savings and Reduce Debt

What’s Coming Up in June for the $1,000 Start-Ups 2020 Launch

In the Entrepreneurship Class we’ll be:

  • Completing Our Marketing Plans and Learning to Build a Facebook Business Page
  • Learning About Registering Our Businesses and Applying for Licenses
  • Designing Our Prototypes
  • Preparing for Our In-House Prototype Fair

In the Financial Management Class we’ll be:

  • Learning to Tame the Paper Tiger
  • Managing and Prioritizing our “To Do” Lists
  • Establishing a Weekly Business Meeting
  • Raising Our Credit Scores

Follow the $1,000 Start-Ups 2020 Launch

If you’d like to receive updates and information on what the class is doing and how they’re progressing please Join our Email List

Leah Ward-Lee is a management consultant and business writer based on Amelia Island, Florida and the author of $1,000 Start-Ups.

Published by Leah Ward-Lee

Leah Ward-Lee, the author of "$1,000 Start-Ups", is a serial micro-entrepreneur. She opened her first business at ten after lobbying for and receiving a shoe shine kit for Christmas. She pulled her wagon through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, offering to shine her neighbor’s shoes for twenty-five cents a pair. Once her wagon was full, she took the shoes home and polished them. Unfortunately that business was short-lived. She hadn’t tagged the shoes and couldn’t remember whose shoes were whose, so her dad went with her to retrace the route until every pair was returned. Since then she’s had businesses developing and teaching college courses, instructing aerobic classes, owning half a plane that was rented to a flight and maintenance school, and renting homes. She’s also owned a consignment store, a gift shop, a gift basket business, a consulting firm, hosted The Executive Toolbox (a weekly radio show), and a publishing company. She also spent twenty years in the US Army, served as the Chief Information and Technical Officer for two major insurance companies, and has a second career as a management consultant. Leah resides in Dallas, TX and on Amelia Island with Sammy and Goliath, her two rescue dogs.

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