The Greater Baltimore Urban League (GBUL) plans to provide local entrepreneurs under 25 with an opportunity to sell their products or engage their service at a unique pop-up shop on Saturday, February 19, 2022.
“This pop-up provides an opportunity for our young and thriving entrepreneurs of the Gen Z era,” said Tiffany Majors, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Urban League. “We have identified in our current services and support to the Gen Z era that they are venturing the area of entrepreneurship more than ever,” Majors remarked. “There is a higher percentage of Gen Z’ers that are interested in entrepreneurship than college.”
GBUL’s pop-up for young entrepreneurs begins at 10 a.m. at 4328 Erdman Avenue in Baltimore. Organizers say all vendors must register at the Haysbert Center for Entrepreneurship and participate in a coaching session after the event.
“The opportunities that this pop-up shop presents is networking and connecting with young people like myself that has a vision of succeeding and working towards a future goal at a young age,” said Jazzi Prigden, 17, the owner of Chef Jazzi Catering. “The importance of the poor mentor connection for young or aspiring entrepreneur is very high. I say this because being able to connect with someone your age or close enough is like another push forward for others and can boost confidence and give a person much more connections to their peers because today there isn’t as many people willing to share their journey and build that connection within each other.
“The overall goal of the pop-up shop is to help others network and see that there is a lot of people just like you and have the same strive and determination as you to succeed. The youth entrepreneurs should expect to gain much more business partners, learning tools for building a business, and promote their business so it can potentially expand.”
The GBUL will have as many as 20 tables available— one business per table— free of charge.
All participants should arrive at 9 a.m., and the GBUL requires all to wear masks, social distancing, and follow COVID-19 safety protocols established by the city.
Majors noted the importance of the peer-mentor connection the pop will afford for young entrepreneurs.
“It is imperative. Many entrepreneurs do not thrive or survive,” Majors insisted. “Having experienced coaches to get through the rough patches, truly understand their product, their brand, the desires of their consumers, and the funding opportunities available can make or break small businesses.”
Learning the dos and don’ts of the market; a business’ target; competitors; and collaborators is vital to entrepreneurial ventures, according to Majors.
“Our vendors must commit to coaching as data shows that businesses who receive on-going support and advice as a ‘start-up’ are more likely to achieve success,” she asserted. “Entrepreneurship can take years or decades to mature Gen-Z and Millennials live in a ‘microwave’ society. If it does not happen immediately, they move on to something else. With a coach or mentor, they assist them in understanding and accepting ‘the Process,’” Majors said.
The overall goal of the pop-up is for young entrepreneurs to gain the opportunity of free space to sell their products, network, and collaborate with peers.
Majors concluded that experience-proven coaches would attend to support the entrepreneurs’ achievement in growing the minority small business.
“They can expect sincere and thorough follow-up and genuine feedback and direction on their products,” Majors offered. “They will also have the opportunity to win a $1,000 grant to forward their business and have the business registered with the state of Maryland.”
For more information, visit, www.gbul.org.