Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with an EDTP Graduate: Meet Rosemari Hicks

Posted on 10/3/2017 by Ray Lamboy in LAEDA News
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Rosemari Hicks is the owner and operator of CoWork Street. She is also a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. We had a chance to sit down with her to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program. LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur? My mom started her own business when I was quite young. I still remember how we as a family would all pitch in to assist her until she was large enough to hire staff. Her business allows her as a single mom (after my Dad passed away) to put five (5) kids through college. I wanted to emulate my Mom, she believed success was how well we all do, not just one person. Opening a collaborative workspace allows me to pave a way for entrepreneurs to do business, one member at a time.

LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

 
Necessity.  The majority of my career has been in Human Resources and the last 15 plus consulting.  When I decided to move my business from the home office and begin looking for workspace I found the cost to open a “brick and mortar” alone daunting.  After discovering the collaborative workspace industry as a possible option, I could not find a space that supported a diverse group of small or early stage businesses.  I looked around the South Jersey area and could not find a place for people like me that embraced differences, a place where people could just breathe.  When you mix people with different ideas, from different backgrounds, ethnicity, etc.; then you get true diversity and a much broader perspective.  I wanted to be part of a community of other folks who embrace the struggle, being the change, and the success they want to see.  
 
LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?
 
Preparation is key, collaboration and networking with fellow classmates was important.  My “Ah-ha” moment was when I realized I had started class with a set of goals, idea, and bravo.  I left class with a plan and a real appreciation for Mr. Raymond Lamboy. 
 
LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?
 
Roadblocks, that’s a tough one, as I want to stay positive.  If I were honest, I would say the ability to navigate through the Camden and the State of New Jersey government.  It’s hard to know where to go sometimes and when you get there, you don’t always have the necessary information to get things done.  The phrase “you don’t know, what you don’t know,” was a real energy killer.  I am not saying that all of my woes were City or State issues; you just have to learn the process, recognize it’s not personal (although, it sure feels like it) and in which things need to happen are not always clear.  
 
Challenges – Government roadblocks; fear of failure
 
Successes – Cowork Street, a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs and early 
stage businesses is open and we have members signed up.
 
Failures – The amount of time it took to actually open our doors. Leasing versus securing a property to purchase, but all in good time.
 
LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?
 
I officially opened at the end of September.  I have members in place and conducting several tours of the space each week for potential new members.  My first event in the space will be on October 19th, a networking event for diversity in women entrepreneurship.  We as business owners/entrepreneurs need to intentionally engage in making diversity and inclusion work on a daily basis.  This is what I hope to accomplish as a collaborative community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
 
LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?
 
As Yoda from Star Wars said, “Do or Do Not, There is No Try”
 
Congratulations to Rosemari Hicks for completing EDTP and recommitting to her journey on the path of entrepreneurship. CoWork Street is a dynamic collaborative workspace located in the heart of downtown Camden and is now accepting applications for entrepreneurs and businesses who are interesting in becoming members.  Visit www.coworkstreet.com or call 856-246-1297 for more details.
 
The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Winter Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com