Pencils and paper on a desk, plus a stack of folders, one labeled "Entrepreneurship"On April 4th, the Beekman Community Market hosted an Entrepreneurship Enrichment Workshop with Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative (GCMI) in Working In Neighborhoods (WIN) Community Room. Representatives from GCMI taught a group of 10 about the entrepreneurial mindset, problem solving, and marketing a business.

In 1998, Community Action Agency and United Way collaborated to create GCMI with the goal of assisting disadvantaged people in starting a business. Today, GCMI works in three main areas of microbusiness management: training, coaching, and providing access to loans and grants.

Specifically, the Ice House Entrepreneur Program (IHEP) is a 10-week course that covers the “eight basic but essential life lessons of several successful entrepreneurs.” The course is based on the story of Cleve Mormon, an African American man in the Mississippi Delta who started his own icehouse in the 1950s.

Workshop presenters included Tracey Hayes, program resource manager at GCMI; Daniyiel Walker, alumni of IHEP, full-time business owner, and social media marketing instructor for GCMI; and Chanael Warren, business coach at Alloy Development Co.

Hayes led the attendees through exercises in out-of-the-box thinking and customer evaluation. One such exercise had participants give advice to a hypothetical caterer who was struggling with managing the numerous aspects of entrepreneurship. The insightful group suggested that she:

  • Create time-saving cooking techniques.
  • Look into local training programs that have interns or externs.
  • Apply for a small business loan to hire staff or expand technology.
  • Upgrade to a program that allows meetings to auto-populate in her calendar.

Hayes recommends that new entrepreneurs:

  • Start with what you can do best.
  • Understand your purpose and passion.
  • Know what problem you are solving for your clients.
  • Know when to say no.

For more information on GCMI’s programs, visit or call 513-569-4816.