Verizon’s small business program recently released information about its latest grant round. The subsidy program LISCand through it, Verizon Small Business Digital Ready has pledged $1 million in 2023 small business grants.
To qualify for the grant, must join first Verizon Small Business Digital ready. It’s free.
With VSBDR, you can access courses, live coaching sessions with industry experts, and other resources, as well as apply for an exclusive pool of $10,000 small business grants.
To unlock applications for the current round of grants, register Complete any combination of two courses, coaching events, and community events on Verizon Small Business Digital Ready and apply by May 12, 2023.
Last year, I reached out to Brianna Ellison, Director of Community Engagement at Verizon. Verizon Small Business Digital Ready A program for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. She described marketing tools, one-on-one mentoring, and other aspects of the program that can help small businesses throughout Michigan and the Great Lakes region.
- What is Verizon doing in the Detroit/Michigan community to support small businesses?
Verizon actively partners with small businesses in Michigan. We are members of numerous chambers and associations throughout the state that work with small businesses (Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Dearborn Chamber of Commerce, Right Place, MI Chamber of Commerce, Automation Alley, Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance, MI Business Incubator Association). Verizon participates in numerous thought leadership events with these organizations to share our expertise and resources with our members.
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In 2021, we provided a grant to the Veterans Entrepreneur Lab at Grand Valley State University. Veterans and/or military spouses work on starting a business over three months. MVE-Lab prepares participants to identify target customers, network with others, and find the resources they need to be profitable and successful. It concludes with a pitch showcase awarding at least $25,000 in cash prizes. Guests include other seasoned entrepreneurs, mentors, and professionals such as lawyers and his marketing specialists. Among them was the leader of his group of Verizon Veteran Employee Resources, who shared information about her Verizon support for her small business owners, as well as her personal experience as an entrepreneur. .
In 2021, Verizon’s pro bono program and metro detroit black business alliance‘s Capital Connect program. This program prepares Metro Detroit Black-owned businesses and connects them to a variety of funding resources to ensure their continued success. If any of these companies require additional legal assistance or one-on-one support, the Verizon Pro Bono Program team agrees to work directly with these companies to identify additional legal services. I’m here.
Finally, in September Verizon Digital readiness for small businessThis online curriculum is designed to give small businesses the personalized tools to succeed in today’s digital world. The program includes learning modules, expert coaching, peer networking, and a marketplace of tools and solutions. The free online resource is available to small businesses across Michigan (and nationwide) and is utilized by his Verizon partners such as the Black Business Alliance’s Capital Connect Program.
- What does “digital ready” mean, and why is it important for small business owners today?
Digital readiness is about ensuring companies have all the tools and resources they need to succeed in today’s economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed unforeseen challenges for entrepreneurs and has further accelerated the shift to digital ways of working. More than 75% of his SMBs have reoriented their business because of the crisis, and more than 50% of his SMBs say their interactions with customers online have increased. To remain competitive in the new economic environment, small businesses must be agile and adapt to changing consumer preferences.
Small business entrepreneurs understand the importance of leveraging digital tools in their day-to-day operations, but find it difficult to implement a meaningful digital transformation. According to data released in his September 2020 report by Morning Consult and Verizon, “More than two of his five decision makers said their business would grow through digital technology and would rely heavily on communications. He said it is likely.” At the same time, more than two-thirds of respondents admit that adding or transitioning digital/online operations is difficult for their business. How will we bridge this gap?Entrepreneurs can find personalized learning and coaching resources wherever they are to successfully implement a digital strategy into their business and have the confidence to succeed in a post-pandemic future. should be easily accessible.
- Why the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready Program is a Great Resource for Business Owners In Subway Detroit and Michigan?
Detroit’s rich roots embody the hard-working, innovative spirit of its diverse small business owners. Detroit has about 50,000 small businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color The City is committed to ensuring residents have equal access to the educational and economic opportunities of an emerging high-growth economy.according to 2021 Detroit Ecosystem AssessmentHome to 23% of all startups in Michigan, Detroit has all the resources needed to launch and grow a digitally-enabled business. As Verizon seeks to connect his BIPOC business owners across the country with this valuable resource and create a fairer path for entrepreneurs to succeed in the digital economy, small businesses in the metropolitan Detroit area (and Michigan) We see large business owners as an important user base. in effort.
Verizon’s Small Business Digital Ready program was built by small businesses, primarily BIPOC, for small businesses. Jamiel Robinson, executive director of the Michigan-based business development organization, said: Grand Rapids Area Black Business (GRABB), was a prominent speaker on the Small Business Advisory Board and helped shape the program and its offerings. In short, Metro Detroit entrepreneurs will be able to take digital strategies and related learnings and apply them to their business through curated curriculum topics, coaching events, and community groups.
- What guidance are small business owners you work with looking for?
Small business owners generally want to learn more about fundraising, digital marketing, and operational efficiency. Our users tell us they get tremendous value from connecting directly with educational resources and experts through one-on-one mentoring and group coaching events. 58% of platform users are interested in connecting with finance professionals, and 64% of platform users are interested in connecting with marketing professionals. The most popular topic areas are access to capital, digital marketing, and increasing your online presence. The business owner wants to be part of a community where they can learn from each other because 52% of her users want to connect with others with similar interests.
- How can Verizon help community networking on a personal level instead of a digital level?
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready is built to be a valuable tool for BDOs, Small Business Development Centers, CDFIs, and other organizations that help small businesses every day. We work closely with these types of organizations and work with them to integrate our resources into their products. Digital readiness for small business‘s community section allows businesses to connect with other businesses and resources on a city-by-city basis, so they can connect with local support!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Verizon launched a grassroots effort to host virtual community conversations focused on small businesses in communities across the state. The purpose of these conversations is to hear about the great work small business owners and small business development organizations are doing right now, the current and ongoing challenges facing small business owners, and to help Verizon move forward. to discuss how we can help. Attendees include small business owners, small business advocacy organizations and chambers of commerce.
More than ever, Verizon continues to build incredibly valuable relationships with the communities we serve. These dialogues are just the beginning of what we hope will be a long-term partnership where we can continue the dialogue and explore future opportunities to support.
- What skills do you bring to the community as a liaison between Verizon and small business owners?
As a regional liaison between Verizon and small business owners, build bridges of connectivity with colleagues, internal business partners, and external stakeholders to enrich lives and create a digital future that benefits all communities in Michigan. We promote policies that enable Leverage relationships within Verizon and with partners in business support organizations to form coalitions to address challenges facing small and medium businesses, scale success and best practices, and disseminate information about Verizon’s tools and resources . Reflexively, I meet with businesses, listen to their needs, and innovate to advance the way we deposit goodwill in our communities and build networks that move the world forward for everyone. increase.
First published in September 2022.