SpringGR open house celebrated expansion and its innovative services for area entrepreneurs

An October 9 open house event celebrated SpringGR’s expansion into a permanent space at the westside Goei Center. SpringGR, a grassroots business training experience that helps entrepreneurs develop their business idea or business, brings participants together in small groups to learn business processes.

“It’s exciting to be in a space that meets all the needs for our business training class as well as our one-on-one coaching sessions,” says Attah Obande, co-director of SpringGR.

Shantal FerrellCatered by several program graduates, the event also gave a nod to the more than 360 graduates and 245 businesses launched since the nonprofit opened in 2014. Shantal Ferrell, founder of Savor the Flavor, was one of those business owners 

“Spring GR helped me a lot. I was a stay-at-home mom. I had been working, then had my kids, and was at a point that I needed to get back to work. I am a worker bee,” she says. “I wanted to have flexible hours and not put my kids in daycare."

Through a connection at her book club, Ferrell learned about SpringGR’s 12-week program for entrepreneurs who wanted to launch a new business.

“I said, ‘Why not? This sounds like a good thing. It’s just once a week for 12 weeks.’ When I did it, it only cost $100,” she says. “It was a no-brainer, especially since they are going to be helping you develop your business idea.”

When Ferrell started the program, she didn’t even have that business idea.

“They said to me, ‘You’re an entrepreneur. What is of interest to you? What makes you happy? What makes money?’ I like to cook. I like making people happy,” she says. “When people eat, they’re happy, especially if the food is good.”

With feedback from her mother and grandmother, Ferrell decided gourmet egg rolls in a variety of exotic flavors would be her signature dish. She had been hand-rolling them from scratch over the years and they had become a family favorite. Savor the Flavor’s standard eggroll menu includes chicken and veggie, pizza, loaded potato, beef taco, chicken taco, and scramble. Ferrell has plans for expanding flavor options and is happy to create custom combinations.

Ferrell was as excited as anyone to see SpringGR expand into their new space at the Goei Center. The expanded space will accommodate two additional facilitators and an additional coach to facilitate three classes planned for spring 2020.

“It makes me feel great, lets me know that we’re going to reach more people who want to become business owners,” she says.

In addition, the program will be able to serve more participants with increased programming, extra coaching meetings, and more trainings. An expanded program will also provide broader training in marketing, finance, sales, and other business topics while providing more connections to mentors, organizations, and other sources of social capital.

“The additional office space makes room for our growing team,” adds Arlene Campbell, co-director, SpringGR. “Having the classroom space gives us a location for the small networking and developmental events we host for entrepreneurs, in addition to providing a space they can use for their own launches and other business events.”

Written by Estelle Slootmaker, Development News Editor
Photos courtesy SpringGR

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