• Diverse Business Accelerator: Meet Kesha Kent

    Apr 25, 2019
    Kesha KentThe 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.

    Kesha Kent, BA, MAOL, Empowerment Speaker at MrsKeshSpeaks is part of the inaugural St. Louis Regional Chamber Diverse Business Accelerator cohort. Kesha is a speaker, consultant, and training and development leader with experience helping corporations large and small find top talent. She works with teams and individuals to get them thinking about the value in connectivity and relationships.

    We asked Kesha to talk about her experience as part of the inaugural Diverse Business Accelerator cohort.


    How did you get started in your business?

    I have a background in recruiting and training; while working for other organizations, I have been building the brand of others for over 17 years. There was a time when while working in other firms I’d see things that could be different or that could work in other aspects. Since the company wasn’t fully mine, I’d keep doing things one way when it could better. After honing in on my unique passion and skills, I started to bet on me and build a legacy for my family! I started by using my voice to share my passions and teaching others to do the same! Passion equals organic growth!

    What does success look like to you?

    Success for me looks like organizations that are thriving and growing their bottom line through talks and trainings that I have led! People sharing their passions and building relationships. Success in my eyes starts with family, growth, and opportunities where we have access to resources and thriving in our region, which will ultimately move the needle in the St. Louis community! Success in business, would be where my business is thriving, sustained, growing, and offering my services to connections I may have other never met, along with paid opportunities flowing along with passive income!

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

    The opportunity to scale my business with coaches and leaders in the business sector! I know that I needed to be connected to resources and this was an opportunity to scale my impact.

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

    The Diverse Business Accelerator has truly stretched my abilities in an amazing way. I have learned terms and processes I was not utilizing which will help me build a legacy for my family. I have had amazing interactions and it’s still early on so I expect so much more! I’ve also learned more about what the St. Louis Regional Chamber offers as well! The benefits are endless and seeing the diversity come forth is huge for my family and our community!

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

    The program has truly given me an amazing edge, I already operate fully in my passion and skills so what I have learned has been confirmation for me that I am on the right track and to have professionals that can provide feedback is priceless!



    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.
  • Bootstrapping Entrepreneurship

    Nov 26, 2018

    Entrepreneur defines bootstrapping as financing your company's startup and growth with the assistance of or input from others.

    Traditional ways of bootstrapping a business include trade credit, factoring (specific to clothing industry, boutiques) and leasing. However, many underestimated, underrepresented entrepreneurs do not start the entrepreneurial journey that way. I did not and neither did many of the entrepreneurs I have had the opportunity to coach. Still, bootstrapping, perhaps in a less traditional sense, is the way most of us begin the journey.

    Less traditional bootstrapping method such as, trade service, eCommerce and co-working spaces, seem to focus on more cost-effective ways to get the services and resources needed in the short term to create a sustainable business.

    Either way, bootstrapping one’s business requires a plan, hard work and loads of creative thinking.

    Read the entire article here