Avoiding Fatal Missteps: Dartmouth College Program Helps Educate Minority Entrepreneurs
Hughes, Alan, Black Enterprise
THE HILLS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE are perhaps the last place one would expect a minority-focused business education program, yet two can be found on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover.
The Tuck School of Business at the Ivy League college offers two intensive weeklong programs for established entrepreneurs. Both are taught by Tuck professors and corporate guest speakers. One, Building a High-Performing Minority Business, focuses on development and implementation of a customer-focused strategic plan.
Leonard Greenhalgh, professor of management and faculty director of programs for minority- and women-owned business enterprises, points out that the programs have been at Tuck since 1980. "The civil rights movement of the '60s and '70s had curtailed social discrimination, but it hadn't done much to foster minority inclusion in the U.S. economy," he says. "Tuck took the initiative to show that business schools can have a major impact on minority business success."
Sessions in the program include: Focusing Your Strategy on High Performance/ Implementing Your High-Performance Strategy; Statement of Cash Flows, Financial Analysis and Analyzing Your Business; Designing and Implementing Marketing Strategy; and Financing Your Business Preparing and Obtaining a Loan.
The next Building a High-Performing Minority Business program will be held Nov. 14-19, and the advanced program, Growing the Minority Business to Scale, will next be offered in July 2011. The fee for either program is $4,500 and includes tuition, materials, accommodations, and most meals. For more information, visit www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/ exec/targeted_audiences/minority.html.
BLACK ENTERPRISE polled several entrepreneurs who participated in the most recent Building a High-Performing Minority Business program.
Here's what they had to say:
Built Right Construction Inc
Construction services, general contractor
West Palm Beach, FL
"Although I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to quite a few of the business basics that were taught during the class. I had forgotten to use many of the concepts in running my business. Some of the principles covered: the use of the income statement for establishing overhead factors for estimating and for budgeting and projecting performance: break-even point calculation: variance reports: and business planning. The discussions covering these concepts gave me a better understanding of what I needed to concentrate on--running the company, not the jobs.
Accounting, internal controls, process optimization services
Redwood City, CA
"Until attended the Tuck program, marketing was "black magic." The process was warm and fuzzy," and the results were mysterious and too elusive to measure. One intense session with Punam Keller [professor of management] crystallized the changes I needed to make. Customer loyalty is repeat business and a forward-looking indicator, while sales is a historical measure. Customer loyalty requires high customer satisfaction and a customer-orientation focus. Unless you ask, you may not know what or why your customers are buying. …