• Diverse Business Accelerator: Meet Shequana Hughes

    Apr 25, 2019
    Shequana HughesThe St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator is designed to address the interests and challenges of diverse business owners as they work to scale their businesses. Participants in our capacity building program are diversely owned small businesses. This is a multi-phase program that creates a welcoming and stimulating environment for participants to receive and share valuable feedback, self-reflect, acquire effective business development strategies, and build relationships essential to their business’ growth.

    Shequana Hughes is the owner of The SAVA Group, putting her 15 years of administrative and 10 years of entrepreneurial experience to work. She set out to help her clients relieve their stresses and grow their businesses. This one-woman show has now become a team of virtual administrative experts that have provided assistance to entrepreneurs all over the United States. We sat down with Shequana to talk about her experience as part of the inaugural Diverse Business Accelerator cohort.

    How did you get started in your business?

    I was helping a family member with their website, social media, and team training and thought to myself "Someone would probably pay me to do these things" because of course, I was doing it for them for free.

    What brought you to the St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator?

    Christy Maxfield (a.k.a the connector) is one of the business mentors for the Diverse Business Accelerator and she introduced me to the program. 

    Tell us about your experience in the St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator.

    It has been a fantastic experience so far and just what I needed. As my business is entering a growth phase, my branding needed an uplift and the Diverse Business Accelerator has given me the tools and resources required to do just that.

    What was your one main takeaway from the St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator?

    So far, it’s been the value that my business brings is most important and should be front and center. I've learned your brand message should be clear and concise. And lastly, you should always be pitching!

    How has the St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator impacted your professional goals?

    I have a better understanding of the direction in which my business is goin and know how to communicate that with our clients (current and future).

    What does success look like to you?

    Success looks like happiness to me.  Luckily, I love what I do, and it makes me happy; therefore, I am successful.



    Interested in learning more about the Diverse Business Accelerator? Read more about the program here or contact Program Director, Inclusive Business Solutions Lakesha Mathis at lmathis@stlregionalchamber.com.
  • Diverse Business Accelerator: Meet Trish Jensen

    Apr 25, 2019
    Trish JensenThe St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator is designed to address the interests and challenges of diverse business owners as they work to scale their businesses. Participants in our capacity building program are diversely owned small businesses. This is a multi-phase program that creates a welcoming and stimulating environment for participants to receive and share valuable feedback, self-reflect, acquire effective business development strategies, and build relationships essential to their business’ growth.

    Trish Jensen is the owner of milliCare, a business that provides specialty floor and textile care to corporate and commercial facilities, and part of the inaugural St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator cohort. We sat down with Trish and talked about her experience in the program.

    How did you get started in your business?

    Almost 22 years ago, my mother-in-law was at the Milliken plant and saw a sign for becoming a milliCare franchise. My husband didn’t like school and wanted to be his own boss, so we met with the Milliken team and bought the milliCare franchise. We moved away from family with a 6-week-old baby and have simultaneously built our family and our company to almost $1 million.

    What brought you to the St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator?

    I was a part of the Diverse Business Accelerator pilot program in the fall of 2018 and I met Lakesha Mathis and Christy Maxfield. After completing the pilot, I was invited to be a part of this new program.

    Tell us about your experience in the St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator.

    It has been amazing meeting other business owners and learning from them as well as giving them parts of my own experience. I am learning how to be more intentional with my growth and how to go about doing that. I love feeling like I have a whole new network of people that are rooting for me and supporting me and my business.

    What was your one main takeaway from the St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator?

    You need to decide what your goals are and make a plan on how you want to reach and define them.

    How has the St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator impacted your professional goals?

    It has made me better define my goals and how I can reach them.

    What does success look like to you?

    Success is never giving up and working hard to reach your goals even when you fall short.



    Interested in learning more about the Diverse Business Accelerator? Read more about the program here or contact Program Director, Inclusive Business Solutions Lakesha Mathis at lmathis@stlregionalchamber.com.