This week the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center celebrated 30 years of helping local Connecticut small businesses, and 15 years of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) and I was so happy to be a part of it! Heather Conley Photography was featured in the event booklet as a ‘Success Story: Building an Image’. You can read the full story by zooming in on page #10, here.
The SBA, CT DECD, Farmington Bank, Barney School of Business and Senator Blumenthal’s Office all supported the event, which also featured a business showcase and marketplace before the keynote speaker: Terry Walters of Clean, Food Clean Start & Eat Clean Live Well, addressed the crowd. Following her inspiring story and words of wisdom, it was my pleasure to join a panel with two other small business owners to speak briefly on a few topics surrounding small business ownership, challenges faced and overcome, in addition to what has helped us most and how the Entrepreneurial Center has played a strong role.
So here’s my shameless testimonial, and personal experience regarding the invaluable support and guidance I’ve been given by them over the last two years. I have such gratitude for the team and never hesitate to show it!
‘Headed into my 6th year as an Architectural Photographer in Connecticut, the measurable traction I’ve realized in my business has come quickly with the support of the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center (EC). It’s a professional relationship that has spanned more than 12 years.
I first worked with the EC in 2003 graduating from their Comprehensive Small Business Training program, then shortly after gave entrepreneurship pause. In 2009, following two years of study with a mentor, I launched my freelance commercial photography business. My primary goal coming back to the EC in 2014 was to build a solid client base that would ensure cash flow and a paycheck to sustain my business long term.
One-on-one advisory sessions with Lacey Banks McGill continue to be essential. Lacey gets down to brass tacks and sets out to get to the heart of your goals step-by-step. With the combined support of the advisement sessions and joining the Women’s Business Roundtable – WBR (monthly working sessions with fellow women business owners), I’ve seen measurable results and felt momentum within a few short months.
Focus and action have been required on my part to get there. I am advised on recommended changes, decisions to be made, and the work to be done. From there I execute it utter determination, and will continue to follow their advisement to further specialize in the projects and clients I’m seeking to be successful in business. 2015 was the first year I finished in the black and it feels great!
I’m appreciative for the variety of support and relative programs the EC offers business owners like me across Connecticut. They are constantly on top of what business owners need, and their programs evolve along with the pace of business today.’
If your business is struggling, or you feel overwhelmed and your business is ‘running you’, the help and business support you need is right here locally in Hartford, Connecticut. Learn more about the Entrepreneurial Center’s programs here.