Black Banks (267827)

The AARP in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Urban League will present each Wednesday Sept. 26 through Oct. 24 “The Business of Small Business: Entrepreneur Workshop Training Series.” The 90-minute, interactive workshops will offer first-hand knowledge on what it takes to start, fund, and grow a business, and will connect attendees to resources and networking opportunities. The entrepreneurial workshops were developed with the goal of growing and supporting Black entrepreneurship in Los Angeles and will provide an overview of business ownership in the city by working professionals who became successful entrepreneurs.

The workshops will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Vectgor90, 6111 S. Gramercy Pl., in Los Angeles. Vector90 serves as a co-working space and “incubator” for creators and entrepreneurs in the Crenshaw District. Early registration is encouraged, with free parking available. Organizers suggest visitors look for the sign “The Bread Yard” to better locate the building.

“The Business of Small Business workshops are a great start for people to turn their passion into profit. We are proud to support the work of the Los Angeles Urban League and help sustain small business development in Los Angeles,” said Nancy McPherson, director of AARP California. “We believe entrepreneurship is a path to helping communities, to employment and to building wealth. We hope attendees will walk away with knowledge that can uplift their financial empowerment.”

Participants can attend one or all of the following free workshops:

• “Business 101”- Wed., Sept. 26 – Learn the basics of business ownership and what you need to get started.

• “It Takes Money to Make Money: Funding Your Business for Success” Wed., “Oct. 3 – Prepare to raise the money you need to help grow your business, with a focus on business loans.

• “Exploring Technology in Your Business” – Wed., Oct. 10 –   Get informed about operating a business in the digital age.

• “Your Brand and Your Business” – Wed., Oct. 17- Explore the power of your brand and how to deliver your personal and business brand authentically.

• “Are You Ready for the Next Level?” – Wed., Oct. 24 – Learn how to beat the odds to stay in business for the long haul.

“For nearly 100 years, the Los Angeles Urban League has helped business people to start and grow their companies by providing training, technical assistance, and access to capital and contracting opportunities. Partnering with AARP in Los Angeles represents a chance to expand our reach and help more people of color to take advantage of the economic boom that’s underway in LA County,” said Brian Williams, vice president and COO of the League.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses have accounted for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the United States since 1995. In Los Angeles, small businesses are especially important to communities of color. In fact, a 2015 study by the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Los Angeles County is a “microcosm of [the] nation’s diverse collection of business owners.” The report reflected that “Collectively, Los Angeles County was home to 631,218 minority-owned firms including 81,563 Black-owned businesses.”

However, the SBA reports that 30 percent of small businesses fail within the first two years. Often the deciding factor between stumbling and success can be as simple as having access to basic information and resources.

While AARP offers a number of resources for 50-plus entrepreneurs and business owners including local hands-on workshops and robust websites on a national scale, the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) brings specific training and expertise around helping people launch and scale small businesses. LAUL– a staple in Los Angeles since the 1920s – has a long history of working with communities of color to develop small businesses and understand the importance of entrepreneurship.

To register and for more information about The Business of Small Business: Entrepreneur Workshop Training Series visit AARP.ORG/LASmallBiz