Regions Bank and Idea Village, a New Orleans-based nonprofit focused on economic and community development, are joining forces to support entrepreneurs and small-business owners with a year-long, monthly content series aimed at delivering resources for business innovation and growth.
The 2019 Community Content Series will feature 10 events focused on three core missions to support local business: leadership development, networking and educational workshops. Experts and alumni from the Idea Village will lead workshops on topics including digital marketing and advertising, human resources, finance and investor readiness. Following each presentation, attendees will be able to ask questions and share experiences based on their own business models.
The events are free and open to business owners and founders of all stages in business development.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and the success of small-business owners is critical to the long-term success of New Orleans,” said Graham Ralston, Market Executive for Regions Bank in New Orleans. “Regions Bank is proud to support projects that provide valuable resources to entrepreneurs, who, in turn, create jobs across our community. Through Regions’ work with the Idea Village, our goal is to deliver educational resources that help make a dream of owning or growing a small business a reality.”
According to the 2017 Innovation that Matters Report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, New Orleans is ranked second in startup culture and first in connectivity. Since Idea Village launched in 2000, the nonprofit has provided more than 8,900 entrepreneurs nearly 28 million dollars’ worth of business resources. Idea Village representatives said the nonprofit has helped create 3,200 jobs during that timeframe as well.
Regions’ financial support of the series is directly aligned with the bank’s community engagement strategy, which seeks to foster more inclusive prosperity for individuals and businesses while helping remove barriers to their success. Specifically, Regions works to support a wide range of community investments that strengthen education and workforce readiness; economic and community development; and financial wellness.
“Idea Village is very excited to offer free resources for business owners and connect with a larger community of entrepreneurs,” said Jon Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer of Idea Village. “Our hope for this series is to dive deeper into best practices and elevate the entrepreneurs in our community.
“Regions Bank is an institution that shares our passion for helping entrepreneurs and small business owners thrive. They are a natural partner in helping bring this new public series to life,” Atkinson added.
The first Community Content Series kicked off Feb. 13 with lessons and tips on using social media in business strategy. More than 50 people attended a presentation by Jeff Januszek, founder of Jeff Januszek Social Media.
“The secret to effective social media for business is to stop selling and start building a community with the people that matter to you. Stop thinking like a brand; start thinking like a human,” Januszek told the group of attendees.
The next Community Content Series is scheduled for March 13 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Shop at the Contemporary Arts Center. The March event will feature a panel discussion on investor financing and provide information on how entrepreneurs can get access to funds for start-up businesses. Information about the March event will be available on Idea Village’s Facebook page.