Every year we all shell out exorbitant amounts of money for unnecessary items like cookie dough, candy and giftwrap in an attempt to support our local schools. But most of that money ends up going to the fundraising company instead! One parent, Jeannie Williams, had had enough. She decided to turn this grievance into a business opportunity and utilize her organic farming skills all at the same time. Soon, Gardens 4 Educations, an ingenious fundraising program that both fosters healthy habits and results in more profits for schools, was born.
The Gardens 4 Education fundraiser started as an easy to use garden kit in a disposable six-pack carrier. Jeannie first tested out the practical use of her concept in her daughter’s classroom during the Spring of 2011. The fundraiser was a hit. That Fall, she sought the help of SCORE and her mentor, Harley Roberts, helped her work through many of the questions and issues she faced as a new business owner. Harley connected Jeannie with ABLE Industries, an assembler and distributor committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities by creating opportunities to maximize their independence.
The garden kits have now evolved into a four-pack of large plants in a reusable garden tote with advertising space sold on the side. This advertising opportunity increases even further the significant profit potential of the fundraiser for schools; while most fundraising programs offer 20-40% of profits to the school, Gardens 4 Education offers 50% plus the advertising potential.
In 2013 the Gardens 4 Education fundraiser will be available to all schools in the Kings and Tulare counties of California.
What's Great About My Mentor?
Jeannie reflects on her mentor’s influence saying, “I feel very fortunate to have Harley Roberts as my SCORE mentor. He has helped me realize opportunities that I didn’t even know existed. His suggestion to contract assembly and shipping through Able Industries ultimately changed the direction of my distribution model to one that can grow and reach more schools. I don’t think he realizes just how instrumental he has been in helping me develop Gardens 4 Education into a viable business.”
How SCORE Helped
Jeannie plans to continue working with SCORE as Gardens 4 Education continues to grow. She say, “We have come a long way but there’s still a long way to go. It gives me confidence to know that I have a resource where I can get help from people who have been there.”
Latin Business Today discusses how to make your business eligible to compete for federal contracts.
If you’re a business owner of Hispanic descent, or a woman, or a U.S. veteran, you might not have thought of that part of your identity as a bonus to your business. But it can be, if you’re doing business with the U.S. government.
Norm Brown combines a business and legal education with extensive experience in everything from large corporations to tiny start-ups; his last position before joining SCORE was VP Technology Commercialization for a Fortune-500 defense contractor. A patented inventor and former Angel Investor, Brown focuses on New Products, New Businesses, and Intellectual Property. He's adept at building winning relationships via Development & Co-Marketing Agreements, Technology Licenses, Strategic Partnerships, and other complex agreements. He managed an incubator ranked #3 in America by the National Science Foundation in the percentage of new companies created around NSF-funded technologies. He has served on a number of start-up company boards, and he has supported the launching of over 30 companies based on licensed or transferred technologies.
Expert in Business Operations. Very knowledgeable in Business Management. Experienced in Cash flow management and Business Planning and Business Operations. 38 years in key management positions in food manufacturing, packaging and distribution business, involving: manufacturing and engineering, strategic planning, costing, finance, capital investment, logistics, organization development, mergers and acquisitions, product development, and MIS. Responsible for 4 production facilities. retired as VP of Operations and VP of Corporate Development. Holds 4 US patents. Post retirement had own management consulting business and have been a SCORE counselor for 13 years. Served on active and reserve duty in US Navy for 30 years – retired with rank of Captain.
US Merchant Marine Academy, Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Various courses involving finance and accounting, product development, organization and leadership development, strategic and business planning, and mergers and acquisitions
15 years experience as chief administrative officer for an organization of 300+ hospitals and medical centers collaborating on pediatric cancer research. 7 years as VP of Professional Services and Medical Affairs for 450-bed teaching hospital. 4 years as Director of Laboratory Medicine. Start-up of small business: developed general administration, financial services and operations.
Executive MBA with emphasis in healthcare administration PhD in Regulatory Biology MS in Molecular Biology BS in Chemistry
Norm Brown has a Doctorate in Business from George Washington University and a Law Degree from Georgetown; he combines this education with over 35 years experience in product development and technology commercialization. Brown owns and manages Innovations Group, a technology consulting company whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, federal agencies, individual inventors and start-up companies. He was formerly a member of the Tech Coast Angels, the largest private Angel network in the US, and served on their BioMedical and High Technology Committees. Previously, Brown was VP Technology Commercialization at SAIC, where he closed deals generating revenue equivalent to that of a $1B operating division. Brown has served on a number of start-up company boards and has supported the launching of over 30 companies based on licensed or transferred technologies.
Over 40 years broad experience in the engineering and infratructure construction industry. Background in operations, Sales & Marketing, P&L responsibility for different business units, Most recently involved in strategic planning and market analysis at the corporate level. Sarted as field engineer in a specialty area, managed that unit, managed a regional telephone Interconnect business. Sales Management for a specialty product OEM manufacturer, including a rep network. Developed a Communications Consulting practice within the engineering division and pursued design build oppurtunities. Moved into corporate Marketing a named VP
BS University of Notre Dame. Extensive continueing education in engineering/technical areas and business practices(strategy, marketing, etc.
I am an award-winning manager of responses to Federal and State government Request for Proposals (RFP). I developed a repeatable process for producing proposals based on best practices and lessons learned. My deep understanding of RFPs is enhanced by my experience consulting with government agencies as they developed their RFPs and evaluated proposals from other contractors. I know what is necessary for a small business to register with the government, get set-aside certifications (e.g. 8a, woman owned business), how to communicate your business's capabilities, identify contract opportunities, know your competition and develop a winning proposal. I have performed as a senior strategic planning consultant to government customers. I am expert in tailoring large-scale project management, systems engineering and integration processes to smaller systems while maintaining their effectiveness.
Pennsylvania State University (BS Mechanical Engineering) Requirements Development Harvard ManageMentor Making a Presentation CMMintegration People CMM Practical System Measurement Evolutionary Spiral Process Structured Analysis and Design