Start Small, Think Big

Our world is dominated by businesses and commerce. As soon as we wake up and turn on the news, we see advertisements for businesses all over our area and country. Most of what we see constitutes as a big business, a national or global entity that is taking over the commerce realm. However, most businesses that affect our daily lives are small. They might not be household names or don’t have budgets to advertise on a national scale, but small businesses are the backbone of our country and are assets to our local community. May 5-11 is National Small Business Week, so let’s celebrate!

If you’re into numbers, Forbes states there approximately 28 million small businesses in the United States alone and employ almost half of America’s working population. 543,000 new businesses start every single year and even may of those fail within the first year. That is why it is so important to support local businesses!

Small and local businesses are what make our communities flourish. Take Bowling Green for instance. Fountain Square is only made up of small business and they are well known within our community. Businesses like Spencer’s Coffee is practically famous in this town. Go in there on any given day and see at least five people you know, and if you’re a student trying to study, expect to get nothing done as you sip great coffee with good friends. Back Down South boutique is a staple for fashionable pieces and gifts. There are countless other small businesses that make up Bowling Green, such as restaurants, shops, bars, and more.

These small businesses cultivate a community identity within Bowling Green. Our town prides itself on its small businesses. We have created character for ourselves within our vibrant community. Not all towns are like that. Bowling Green was awarded 13th on the list of Best Small Cities for Business this year and was the highest ranking city in Kentucky.

Small businesses in this area support each other and want to see each other succeed. That is where Ment comes in. We want to support all your new business dreams. We know it takes a village to raise a business; much like does a child. No one should have to do that alone. Coworking allows the business owner to have flexibility and freedom within their workplace environment. As businesses might be taking off, they can invest in a coworking membership before they purchase an office or store. Coworking creates a community for members to feel a part of that supports each other, which is beneficial to a small business owner who is just getting off the ground. The coworking community also provides a great way to network and further improve your business.

It is important to support small businesses not only during National Small Business Week, but every week of the year. They make up a majority of our national economy and provide quality and character to any town. Ment wants to support small businesses in all we do and we urge you to do the same!


Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy – The Impact of Giving Back

Last week, we focused on how to give back as an entrepreneur and what better way to reflect on doing so than to welcome one of our members who is a successful entrepreneur to give her input on the topic. Ashley Bauer started her own company in 2012 with husband Eric called FlightBridgeED, a medical education company that specializes in providing pre-hospital, critical care, and emergency medicine education for healthcare professionals of all types. Ashley, Eric and their team joined Ment a little over a month ago and we are happy to introduce you to them, their company and their outlook on philanthropy to you!

Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy – The Impact of Giving Back

Written by member Ashley Bauer on behalf of the FlightBridgeEd Team

Philanthropy is considered kindness and generosity to fellow mankind.  As a business owner and entrepreneur, often times you can feel there is absolutely not enough time in the day; and the thought of attempting to add something else to your plate is just unthinkable. However, it is imperative to understand the importance of giving back especially within the community that we are all a part of.  It not only benefits the community in which you live and work but also rewards you both personally and professionally.

The act of giving is not limited to monetary contributions. In fact, I can reflect back on our early business venture and many philanthropic contributions from others were simply time and experience and had nothing to do with monetary giving. I do believe those contributions and opportunities helped us exponentially and allowed us to continue to pursue our vision and goals. This also allowed us to see the importance of giving back as well.  Research has shown that when an individual donates, whether time or money, it stimulates an area within the brain that makes us feel good (Brown, 2016).  What better reason to give than this?

If monetary contributions are the easiest way for you to give back, then think locally. Sponsoring a local charity or contributing to a new community project are excellent ways to contribute and can make a huge difference and overall impact. Taking the time to help other entrepreneurs can be invaluable as well. Giving suggestions and coaching other entrepreneurs can really be the key turning point in their venture, with this often being a contribution they will never forget and are likely to pay it forward just as someone did for us in the beginning. Volunteering time can also be invaluable and can make a life-changing difference not only for you but the lives in which you are volunteering to help.

As an entrepreneurial or business owner philanthropist, you not only get the satisfaction of giving back and helping but are likely to further your networking opportunities as well.  These situations usually open up new opportunities for you and your business and garner exposure that you never really intended in the beginning.  It is likely to unintentionally build respect for you and your company within the community as well. In the end, as with everything else in life, the more you give, the more you are likely to get in return.  Like many business owners and entrepreneurs, we are blessed in so many ways, but we also understand the importance of giving back to others and our community. We understand the impact it has on us and those around us and hope it inspires others to do the same and focus more on philanthropy and humankind.

Arora, K. (2017). Five powerful ways to give back as an entrepreneur. 

Brown, C. (2016).  The importance of philanthropy in business.