I’m a single father. Divorced. I have full custody of my awesome and incredibly inquisitive 7 year-old son. Oh and I’m an entrepreneur too! So saying I’m a single father triggers one thing in most people. But adding to that ‘I’m the founder of a startup’ ignites a totally different reaction in most.
I’d like to think because of my tenacity and no excuses attitude we are having much success with our company, MitechPartners.com. We have serious traction with high profile early adopters like Holiday Inn & the US Army plus our revenues are approaching 1M. So being a single dad has not been an obstacle, only a reason to progress.
But this has been on my mind recently because of a tweet I posted last week @mitechpartners. The tweet was a picture of a cartoon white male entrepreneur which pointed out the anatomy of an entrepreneur shown below:
I got responses from women who seemed offended the pic was of a male. Even though I didn’t create the graphic, I thought nothing of it. But messages came at me asking ‘where’s the pic of the momma entrepreneur with kids hanging off her legs?’ My first thought was ‘ugh I don’t know. Why don’t you make one?’ But then of course browsing the Internet, I found the identical graphic of an Aftican-American female (and of course sent this to those who messaged me).
But I get it. There needs to be more images showing female founders. I understand it being an African American male who doesn’t see a lot of startup founders or Black Tech startups in media. Images mean a ton! From images of Jesus to how the media portrays a ‘thug,’ we all subscribe to these made up visages whether we like it or not. So let’s work together to change this. We don’t need to just talk diversity inclusion but he about it. I mean really be about it by who we hire, partner with and who we prospect, sell and market to.
Sooner or later we’ll all get it together!
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CEO and Founder of Mitech Partners, Bill McCleskey participated as a volunteer judge and guest entrepreneur of the week with the Building Entrepreneurs for Success in Tennessee, or BEST Program at the Tennessee Prison for Women.
Seventeen women graduated last week from the BEST program. Co-founded by Karen Vander Molen in 2014, its mission is to prepare inmates for the job market, and also for self-employment, given the difficulties those with a criminal record have in finding a job. In doing so, the organization seeks to reduce the three-year recidivism rate in Tennessee, now at 48.4 percent.
Vander Molen built the BEST program as part of a civic leadership master program at Lipscomb University and began with a group of 22 men at the Charles Bass Correctional Complex, which has since closed. The program was launched in partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and John Murdock, a director at the Entrepreneur Center, is a weekly instructor and teaches the same curriculum he uses for the EC’s PreFlight program. Several local business leaders have donated their time.
“They will either be a super employer or a much more savvy, committed and adept employee,” Vander Molen said. “We need them to be coming out with the skills and the confidence and the wherewithal to rejoin society as a contributing member.”
See more of this article here: http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2016/04/30/entrepreneurship-training-teaches-inmates-skills-start-over/83544934/