Published May 23, 2022
Republished from SCORE's 2021 Annual Report
“My SCORE coach taught me that I can have premium clients. I have to offer premium services and price premium deals. I learned to ignore my initial feelings of “imposter syndrome” because I have more experience in this than others. I have a lot to offer.”
Danielle Neal is a 25-year-old Baltimore-based entrepreneur who started her business, Digital with Danielle, in 2020. At first this work was essentially a side hustle, where she offered advice on how to use social media and its new features through Instagram Live. Her fun conversations there taught her that women, especially, face unnecessary barriers and a lack of confidence when using social media platforms for business growth. She instinctively knew she could be an empowering force in this arena and excel at addressing people’s social medial pain points.
Before taking the leap to start a business, Danielle was a full-time schoolteacher. With no prior business experience, Danielle tapped into SCORE. Her SCORE mentor, Rich Rubinstein, helped her answer questions, think strategically, raise funds and even change her messaging to match her expertise. After bi-weekly Zoom meetings with Rich throughout the pandemic, Danielle decided to quit her teaching job in 2021 and launch Digital with Danielle.
In just one year since starting her business, Danielle is busy with clients and filled with confidence and excitement. “I don’t think of myself as ‘small’ because of the small business title. I am really creating a global brand,” she explains.
Danielle loves what she’s doing, and her bubbly excitement can be felt immediately. She believes her SCORE mentor helped map revenue for growth but, more importantly, “map her legacy.” As a first generation entrepreneur, she is glad to tap her newly gained skills to help her community grow, too.
Danielle would tell future business owners: “Believe in the vision you have. Know that you can be seen and valued for what you bring to the table.” In addition, she encourages entrepreneurs to reach out to SCORE for support: “You can do so much more when you get help.”
OWNER: Danielle Neal
MENTOR: Rich Rubinstein
LOCATION: Baltimore, MD