It’s a simple adage: you don’t know what you don’t know. Recognizing and addressing this fact can easily become a major hurdle for entrepreneurs and small business owners who work tirelessly using every minute of every day to build their businesses. Asking for help can also be difficult but – for those who do – the rewards can be immense.
Dr. Laura McGuire (they/them or she/her), the founder and principal of The National Center for Equity and Agency (NCEA), had built an impressive knowledge and experiential base in their calling as a consultant focused on the intersection of sexual misconduct, trauma-informed care, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. By their own admission, however, they did not have the same command of what it takes to build a successful business and turned for assistance to the Florida Small Business Development Center at Daytona State College (FSBDC at DSC), a sub-center of the FSBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).
The National Center for Equity and Agency is the only consulting firm in the nation to be fully focused on sexual misconduct and diversity and inclusion. This leads the organization focus on a wide range of topics including Title IX, consent, sexual harassment, domestic violence, restorative practices for offenders, trauma-informed care, and more. The NCEA is also the only firm to be comprised of graduate-level social scientists, offering a unique perspective that is research-informed and based upon lived experience. NCEA goes far beyond box-checking compliance in the form of transformative and cutting-edge workshops, trainings, keynotes, and consulting packages.
“As much as I know my field, I know my subject matter inside and out,” explains Dr. McGuire, “The ins and outs of business – marketing, sales, finance, how to really get the attention of potential customers – was the area I was going to need support in.” And that is what the FSBDC’s no-cost, expert consulting; business training seminars and webinars; and access to extensive market research resources and databases could provide.
“I’ve used consulting by a couple of the people at the FSBDC and that’s been really helpful,” Dr. McGuire remarked, working most recently with FSBDC at DSC Sub-center Director Trecia Marchand. “Talking to multiple individuals and getting their unique perspective has given me the holistic picture of what it means to succeed and really presented us with a solid foundation to launch from and then move forward from,” they continued.
“We went from just putting the first messages out there and existing to being a globally impacting, six-figure organization,” Dr. McGuire states proudly today. “And that is due to a lot of this mentorship and support and information that we wouldn’t have had otherwise or we would have had to pay a lot of money for. I think the FSBDC being this really approachable, easy-to-get-into place where anyone can ask questions, get resources, get support feeds into the bigger message of creating an equitable environment for all entrepreneurs across the country.”
For information about The National Center for Equity and Agency, please visit https://equityandagency.com/ .