I just wanted to post this post event press release from the Small Business Smashup we held at Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar. I am not sure if it is coincidence or not but after this was sent out to many in the Northwest Arkansas Media, the developer finally made good on their word to put a sign up as promised to the small business last spring.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Local Entrepreneurs Discover Local Coffee Shop and Gather to Help
Fayetteville, AR – Monday, November 1st, 2010 – Last Wednesday, October 27th, The Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance (NWAEA) gathered to hold a “Small Business Smashup” at Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar, located at 609 W Dickson St in Fayetteville, AR. The Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance is a community organization that focuses on advocating entrepreneurship locally and building a network of entrepreneurs who can share their resources, experiences, incite, perspective and more. In just two months the organization has grown to upwards of 30 members, which include aspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders, and veteran entrepreneurs.
Recently, NWAEA Co-Founder, Josh Clemence, recognized struggling local business, Big Momma’s and reached out to help. Because the developer of The Lofts at Underwood Plaza had not yet put up Big Momma’s signage they were virtually invisible on the most active street, in all of Northwest Arkansas. This has proved to be extremely detrimental in building a local following for Big Momma’s.
Wednesday Night, NWAEA gathered at Big Momma’s Coffee Shop and Espresso Bar to listen to Lyle Foster, owner of Big Momma’s, talk about his story behind his company. Mr. Foster highlighted the successes of his business and pointed out the hurdles they need to overcome. Afterwards there was a Q&A session, then NWAEA members split up into groups and for 30 minutes brainstorming as many ideas and strategies as possible to address Big Momma’s challenges. Each of five groups then presented their strategic concepts to Mr. Foster and have since developed a document for Mr. Foster to capture the ideas developed during the ‘Smashup’ session.
NWAEA also donated $500 towards the purchase of gift cards. Big Momma’s still gets the money, but more importantly, they get customers through the doors. More customers through the door, more brand awareness, more repeat customers. Members of NWAEA will be passing out gift certificates in the coming weeks.
While the event took place one night, members of NWAEA have already been in contact with Mr. Foster in order to implement some of the strategies NWAEA members had discussed during the first “Small Business Smashup.”
Over the coming months NWAEA will be looking for other local businesses to take part in a “Small Business Smashup.” Local businesses interested should inquire at email@example.com.
Lyle Foster, Owner of Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar
“Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar opened in the Dickson Street Entertainment district at the end of April, 2010. The store has been challenged with poor visibility and lack of signage and has been under-performing since its opening. Josh Clemence of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurshipl Alliance contacted the business in the late summer and inquired as to how they were doing as a new business in the area. When Josh became aware of the challenges being faced he offered the assistance of NWAEA. This initial conversation culminated in a presentation and brainstorming session on Wednesday, October 27. I was immediately impressed with the wealth of ideas and energy in the room displayed by members of the organization and it was clear that members were here to help and that failure was not an option. As members presented ideas and recommendations it was immediately evident that they took the challenge seriously and meant to accomplish the mission!!! I am fired up with a renewed vision and excitement for what Big Momma’s can be in Fayetteville and am more confident than ever that we will reach Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas with our great espresso, smooth coffee and Big Momma’s excitement. I know I have found a group of fellow entrepreneurs who are here to assist and relate to the needs of business start-ups and appreciate local and independent small business. I am so grateful for this organization and know they represent a turning point for Big Momma’s-Fayetteville!!!”
Brittany Shelton, Barista of Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar
“It was very refreshing to have new outlooks on topics that I see and think about daily.”
Josh Clemence, crav, Co-Founder of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance
“A truly special event that showcased not only a small business but the collective entrepreneurial minds focused on problem solving for a local business. The turnout and strategies developed by NWAEA members was impressive and truly displayed the passion each member has. I am impatiently awaiting the next Small Business Smashup.”
Maurice Elliott, Fayettechill Clothing Company, Co-Founder of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance
“This event was the start to an organization that is going to do great things for up and coming entrepreneur’s and help the business community in NWA.”
Mark Tocco, SCORE, Veteran Member of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance
“A compelling collaboration of entrepreneurial spirit and talent.”
Jeff Amerine, Innovate Arkansas, Veteran Member of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance
“This was one of the best examples locally that represents the upside associated with “social entrepreneurship.” Left to our own devices the risk takers and business creators can bring this country back. The ‘smashup’ was an energizing event that helped the participants feel good about the future inasmuch as it will hopefully help Big Momma’s grow the business.”
Calvin Smith, Rookie Member of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance
“An experience that left everyone excited about the future of entrepreneurship in Northwest Arkansas.”
Nick Jones, Rookie Member of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance
“It was definitely a “real world” experience in opening a new branch for an existing business. After Lyle (Owner) told us about Big Momma’s and some of the issues he had with it, we all were determined to help out. Lyle is a real down to earth business owner and I was really thankful that we got to provide some suggestions to him.”
Jordan Long, Rookie Member of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance
“A very rewarding experience for both parties involved. It was great to get to know a small business owner and hear their story. I was impressed with the suggestions that came up and am really looking forward to the next ‘Small Business Smashup’.”
Troy Gasnier, We Teach Facebook, Rookie Member of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance
“It was an awesome experience to gather with like minds and join together in an effort to help Big Momma’s succeed as a local Fayetteville business.”
Josh Clemence – Co-Founder – The Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance
Lyle Foster – Owner – Big Momma’s Coffee Shop