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Collaborative Hub Breathes Life into Big Ideas for Entrepreneurs of Color with LoLo Smith and George Zarebski (Episode #111)

If you’ve ever wondered what it would take to start a business or a social enterprise that solves a problem for others, today’s interview with Lolo Smith and George Zarebski will send your mind and heart soaring. They are experts in helping others find the resources to start and succeed in creating businesses and endeavors that matter. Turns out, there is no shortage of assistance for people who have good ideas. It’s just that the entrepreneur ecosystem has become so fragmented that no one knows what’s available or who is just waiting to help them!

Episode Highlights


About Our Guests:

Lolo and George are innovators of the best kind: their egos do not get in the way of progress, they can laugh at themselves, and they have a sense of adventure about business and helping others.  

They are part of a wonderful wave of “See it, Solve it” business innovators who courageously start a business once they see and understand a problem. 

They are co-founders of an organization in Columbus Ohio that is determined to make it 1000% easier for people to start businesses and social enterprises that make the world a better place. 

Apparently, there is a huge disconnect between the world of organizations springing up to help people start businesses, and the ability of people to find all these resources. 

Currently, they are remodeling a 40,000 square foot building to become the city’s hub for services and resources available to people who have a great idea, but no idea how to get started. 

They are essentially connecting the dots for owner-operated businesses and start-ups:

  •  Facilitating impactful collaborations within the business ecosystem, 
  • Providing culturally competent education, 
  • Helping people with the financial aspects of good business. 

Best of all, it sounds like a model that is transportable around the country. 

George and Lolo are lovely, fun people who can laugh at themselves, and a fun part of our conversation is that they have learned to trust serendipity when they have no idea what step to take next. (It’s good to know that we are all in the same boat when it comes to not exactly having a plan to follow.)

They envision a world where Black and Brown businesses can get access to all that they need to be successful (although they are not limited to serving people of color.).  Their team is there for anyone who walks in their door and needs help. 

Their inspiring attitude, insights that break down barriers and myths, point to progress for anyone with an idea just waiting to go from dream to reality. 

Resources Mentioned:

Show Notes

  • See it, Solve it
  • Cylinders of excellence
  • Our business partner
  • Vision on a crappy building
  • Myths that existed for business
  • Scarcity versus abundance mindset
  • The power of collaboration
  • The ecosystem of entrepreneurship and social ventures
  • As the “YOU’ business model
  • Business funding for people with credit disadvantage
  • What keeps people from starting a business?
  • There’s no resources available
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • The place I came from has nothing to offer
  • It’s a matter of mindset
  • It’s the filters
  • Continue to find the beauty in your surrounding whatever you do
  • You got to “Show Up!”
  • Saying “That’s not for me!’ without even trying
  • Networking and making relationships
  • The Imposter Syndrome
  • Business is hard for everyone
  • Understanding the principles and using consistency to make it happen
  • Putting one foot in front of the other
  • BOOK: Traction by Gino Wickman
  • BOOK: Fix this Next by Mike Michalowicz
  • BOOK; We Shall All be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers
  • BOOK: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • Don’t take life seriously
  • You don’t need to practice
  • Woman entrepreneurs can be as successful as man
  • I can’t talk about my business
  • Resources
  • Website: Urban Business Development Center 
  • Facebook: Urban Business Development Center

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