Meet the #AllForSmall Volunteer Community
April 18, 2022
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advice
 It's National Volunteer Month, and we are excited to celebrate and highlight Start Small Think Big's volunteers.
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We never underestimate what volunteers can do to support small businesses and the communities they serve because our impact isn’t possible without the service and dedication of the volunteers who are part of our community. Volunteering is essential to our offerings and ability to provide accessible legal, finance, and marketing resources to small business owners like you—risk-takers with drive, potential, and a passion for uplifting the community, your families, and small businesses.

Over the years, Start Small Think Big has partnered with thousands of volunteers to regularly share their passion, skills and professional expertise and support to Black, Latinx, and other marginalized small business owners that we serve. Last year Start Small Think Big volunteers provided around $16 million in free marketing, finance, and legal services to more than 4,000 small businesses.

When a small business owner joins the #AllforSmall community they are connected to a Start Small Think Big team member to map out a plan that meets their current needs, and are invited to attend workshops and bootcamps, and connected to volunteers to support them in solving their most-pressing business challenges. Volunteers help small business owners navigate critical areas like bookkeeping and financial planning, entity formation and legal contracts, branding and digital marketing strategy, and more.

This National Volunteer Month, we’re inviting you to get to know a few members of the volunteers in our community. Read below to learn more about why they volunteer, their favorite small businesses, and their go-to small business advice.

 

RACHEL BOYCE

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Rachel Boyce

Legal Volunteer

 
What is your favorite inspirational quote, and why?

I honestly do not know that I have a favorite quote. There are so many quotes that I live by (many by Nelson Mandela). They have served me through different seasons in my life.

Why did you decide to volunteer and be a part of the #AllforSmall community at Start Small Think Big?   

Giving back and doing pro bono work is a big part of my purpose. I am energized by using my skills and knowledge to help other people.

 

We know that racism and other inequities have created disparities in access to resources needed to create thriving businesses, especially for many Black, Latinx, and other communities of color. Why is it essential to support these businesses and their communities?

To really make a difference we have to be looking at things through an equity lens. Black, Latinx and other communities of color have been left by the wayside for too long and it is evident. Our work must take an intentional approach and putting these communities on track for success and economic development. 

 

What has been your favorite memory during your volunteer experience at Start Small Think Big?

I can’t think of one favorite right now, but everything about the work I do with SSTB is fulfilling.

 

What is one of your favorite small businesses that Start Small Think Big partners with, and why?

One of my favorite small businesses is Bini’s Kitchen.

 

What tip would you share with small businesses?

One suggestion would be to get legal help from the inception. Don’t wait until you have a problem to engage attorneys. Attorneys are trained to identify potential issues, so we can save you time and money if you engage with us very early.

 

 

KENDALL BRAUN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendall Braun

Leadership & Community Volunteer

 

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote, and why?

“Failure is an inescapable part of life and a critically important part of any successful life.” - Tal Ben-Shahar

 

Why did you decide to volunteer and be a part of the #AllforSmall community at Start Small Think Big?

I am a cognitive neuroscientist who works with companies to make their products and services innovatively designed for the brains and behaviors of actual humans, focusing on industries such as education, health care, climate change, and DEI. Last year with the support of Start Small Think Big, I founded a consulting company, FathomCo. Especially in the early stages, the resources that SSTB provided were beneficial, so I wanted to return the support to other small business owners in the SSTB community.

 

We know that racism and other inequities have created disparities in access to resources needed to create thriving businesses, especially for many Black, Latinx, and other communities of color. Why is it essential to support these businesses and their communities?

Owning a business is a tremendous opportunity that provides freedom, agency, and the ability to impact our communities. This opportunity needs to be available to everyone, yet structural barriers systematically exclude Black, Latinx, and other communities of color from entrepreneurial success. While we work to eliminate those barriers, resources provided by SSTB provide support so that everyone who wants to undertake the challenge of starting a business has that chance.

 

What has been your favorite memory during your volunteer experience at Start Small Think Big?

I recently facilitated a workshop on the Power of Feedback for SSTB, exploring tactical tips that business owners can use with their teams based on cognitive neuroscience. It was great to connect with so many other entrepreneurs and help strategize ways to improve their businesses.

 

What is one of your favorite small businesses that Start Small Think Big partners with, and why?

Nicole Cushman (Nicole Cushman Consulting) is a passionate thought leader and speaker. I am inspired by the work she is doing to improve health care. A mutual friend introduced us before I started my company, and I was struck by her ability to navigate complex issues strategically.

What leadership advice/tips would you share with small businesses? Feedback drives growth. So, for the most critical aspects of your business, figure out how to get regular feedback -- even when it feels uncomfortable.

 

 

Aleksandra Gor

 

 

 

 


 

 

Aleksandra Gor

Marketing and Sales Volunteer

 

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote, and why?

“The sun as the expression of old world energy is torn down from the heavens by modern man, who by virtue of his technological superiority creates his own energy source.” — El Lissitzky.

I like this quote because every human has enormous potential for self-realization in the modern world.

 

Why did you decide to volunteer and be a part of the #AllforSmall community at Start Small Think Big?

New entrepreneurs have a great motivation to succeed, and their goals have to be supported.

 

We know that racism and other inequities have created disparities in access to resources needed to create thriving businesses, especially for many Black, Latinx, and other communities of color. Why is it essential to support these businesses and their communities?

Inequality should be eliminated from our world entirely, and we need to do as much as possible to reach that objective, especially in the business environment.

What has been your favorite memory during your volunteer experience at Start Small Think Big? That is very rewarding when clients smile at the end of the project because they are now even more excited after all the support and motivation from me.

 

What is one of your favorite small businesses that Start Small Think Big partners with, and why?

Kulshi Mumkin is my favorite small business because every time, the owner had an exceptional ending to his email with the word “Shine!!!”

 

What marketing advice/tips would you share with small businesses?

Stay positive and Shine !!!

 

 

Karina Lopez

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karina Lopez

Finance Volunteer

 

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote, and why?

One of my favorite quotes comes from Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has served as an inspiration throughout my life. Through adversity, she broke through complex barriers and created a path for women, demonstrating that no dream is too big. She said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” It highlights how perseverance and hard work is the key to success.

 

Why did you decide to volunteer and be a part of the #AllforSmall community at Start Small Think Big?

As a first-generation daughter of immigrants, I know firsthand how difficult it is to be a minority in this country. The mission of Start Small Think Big of supporting those in need aligns with my goal to give back to my community. The organization has identified the specific legal, marketing, and finance needs that small business owners often struggle with. I strive to put my financial knowledge and bilingual skills into good use.

 

We know that racism and other inequities have created disparities in access to resources needed to create thriving businesses, especially for many Black, Latinx, and other communities of color. Why is it essential to support these businesses and their communities?

The contributions that BIPOC brings to communities are invaluable, but the support given is often limited, creating barriers for small businesses to grow. Usually, a language barrier stalls progress, so organizations like Start Small Think Big are so important. It is vital to give the tools needed to help them thrive and build businesses that give back to the community.

 

What has been your favorite memory during your volunteer experience at Start Small Think Big?

As a former hairdresser, one of my favorite business owners that I had the pleasure of working with hand-making naturally-based hair products. Knowing the beauty industry helped me form a connection with her that we have maintained over time. Plus, it is gratifying to know that my help may contribute to even a tiny part of her continuing success.

 

What is one of your favorite small businesses that Start Small Think Big partners with, and why?

A small business that stands out for its contribution to the community is African Dish out, a tech company that connects diners and African restaurants. Living in a diverse culinary city, it is important to learn about global foods. This small business is committed to bringing communities together through food.

 

What finance advice/tips would you share with small businesses?

The financial aspect is crucial to every business’s healthy growth and development. Being organized and keeping track of everything from expenses to revenue and inventory will give you the best picture of how your business is doing and what it needs to continue growing. Always be open to learning and seek professionals to guide you through the unknown.

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