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Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation Partners With Bethel House To Host Small Business And Job Seeker Summit

(EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman (l) with Gabrielle Williams, Founder, Glorious Pastries by Gabrielle at Union Bethel AME Church in Brandywine, MD)Brandywine, MD, June 15, 2016 - On Saturday, the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) hosted a Small Business and Job Seekers Summit in partnership with Bethel House, Inc., the community outreach center of the Union Bethel AME Church, as part of its "Activate Prosperity" Tour to build awareness about the opportunities and resources within Prince George's County. Job seekers, local business owners and entrepreneurs flocked to Union Bethel AME Church to learn about the 122,000 job opportunities, $9 billion in business resources and no cost training opportunities available for residents to take advantage of through the EDC and its life changing programs. Entrepreneurs of all ages came to find out how the EDC's 'Activate Prosperity' initiative can transform them into multimillionaires, including 11 year old Gabrielle Williams, founder of Glorious Pastries by Gabrielle in Accokeek, MD.

"'Activate Prosperity' is all about positioning small business owners from nine to 99 to achieve tremendous success by tapping into the resources that the Economic Development Corporation has at its disposal," said Coleman. "My family farm sent me and 300 of my relatives to college all because of my great grandfather's sense of entrepreneurship and vision for providing generational wealth for his family. By partnering with the EDC, I want the same for young Gabrielle Williams and her pastry business, and for each one of you here today. Each of you can be multimillionaires and provide wealth to your families for generations to come. Who's ready?"

Mr. Coleman and the EDC team gave attendees specific information on the financing programs, training programs and the small business development services available to help them obtain maximum increase in their lives and businesses. Team members also discussed how to write a business plan, how to get certified to do business with Prince George's County and how to earn media attention to grow wealth for a business.

"Business owners can create their own celebrity to drive sales by drawing attention to their brand through earned (free) media," said Britta Vander Linden, Chief of Staff, EDC who led a breakout session on media and marketing. "The head of your organization or company is the 'brand' that drives customers to seek out your services. At the EDC, Jim Coleman represents our brand: possibility, excitement, fun, high energy and game-changing results."

During the small business breakout session, Kisha Logan, EDC Small Business Services Manager shared her insight on how entrepreneurs and small businesses can be successful by utilizing the services provided by the Small Business Services Division. Ms. Logan emphasized the importance of partnering with the EDC to gain access to capital, fine tune a company business plan, and connect to a skilled workforce. Team members also discussed how to write a resume, what job seekers should and should not do when going after a job, and how to successfully re-enter the workforce as an ex-offender.

"Key words in a resume signal to an employer that you are the best person to fill their job opening," said Walter Simmons, Interim Director, EDC Workforce Services Division. "The EDC partners with the U.S. Department of Labor and the State of Maryland to provide the training job seekers need to put them on the path to career success. Our training sessions can be the difference between getting an interview and getting a job."

Pastry chef Gabrielle Williams was ready to take her business to the next level, after being featured on 'The Chew'. During Saturday's event, she learned about the importance of building her capacity along with her brand.

"Today I learned that I can use social media right now to tell people about my business," said Williams. "I want to be a celebrity. I now know that I need to work hard, find a good place to set my business up, and eventually take on employees to help me get my pastries to my customers. I learned a lot today."

For more information on how to gain access to capital, get assistance in writing a business plan and other business support services, contact Kisha Logan, Small Business Services Manager at 301-583-4650 or kvlogan@co.pg.md.us.

For more information on how to identify job opportunities, register for job training and certification or career development workshops, contact Walter Simmons, Interim Director of Workforce Development Services at 301-618-8400 or wsimmons@co.pg.md.us.