Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

When Your Side Hustle Becomes Big Business

Posted on 8/30/2019 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Camden, NJ- On August 26th, the LAEDA Women’s Business Center (WBC) concluded the first cohort of its Turning Your Hobby into a Business Series. The eight-week series was established to offer training and resources to individuals who wanted to begin formalizing their craft hobbies. Topics ranged from Product Development & Production Process and Sales Channels for the Side Hustle Business to Bookkeeping and Money, Banking, and Credit. In order to give participants a comprehensive view of marketing/ sales, production, and administration processes, each class was formulated to not only ensure that participants understood the connection between having a great product and operating a successful business but also to provide potential access to capital.

The cohort of 15 crafters had an array of products ranging from handmade greeting cards and Afrocentric clothing to pottery and upcycled accessories. All participants were able to partake in showcasing their wares and pitching their businesses while getting constructive feedback from onlookers via a focus group rating sheet. One crafter commented, " I was vey nervous about doing the first pitch but I think I did much better when I pitched again at during the last class." In addition to opportunities to improve their business pitch, individuals were also able to assess their products, marketing material, and overall business concept.

Since the businesses represented in the cohort were capital- intensive, each participant was also offered seed capital to assist with purchase of item that would add to the growth of their respective businesses. This capital was supplemented with both small business financing courses and credit counseling in order to educate individuals about the correlation between credit and business growth as well as how to improve their borrower’s profile. 

At the conclusion of the series, all participants received certificates of completion and some secured loans totaling $900 to increase business’ capacity with the purchase of much needed equipment and inventory. They will also receive business counseling in order to continue to develop their business concepts and implement the knowledge gained from class. When asked about the program one participant said, "It didn't just tell you what to do, it showed you how with helpful information."

If you are interested in the Turning Your Hobby into a Business series or other LAEDA WBC programs/ services, visit www.laedawbc.com or call 856-338-1177.