Holly O'Driscoll

A Realtor's Perspective on Reno – Lifestyle, Business, Family

Reno as a launching pad for entrepreneurs

My quest to reinvent myself in the post-newspaper world has taken a decidedly entrepreneurial turn.  Networking and continuing education open doors to opportunities that may blend my long history as a writer/reporter, editor and photographer — and bring in a decent amount of money!

Three elements play into this latest adventure.  Education from the non-profit ProNetjobs network has expanded my social media, personal branding and

Matt Westfield of Startup Growth Strategies teaches entrepreneur classes unlike any other organization around. Read about it at sgs101.com

leadership/adult training credentials (including a UNR certification).  Taking the Startup Growth Strategies 101 class opened doors to working with the Entrepreneur’s Assembly — an umbrella coalition of non-profits in Reno that help people start and grow a business.  I call the dozen or so members the “alphabet soup” group. It includes SCORE, NSBDC, NIREC, NMI, EDAWN, KNPB, UNR, SGS, etc — more than a dozen entities.

Working with Entrepreneurship Nevada (e-nevada.org), I developed, designed and created a newsletter celebrating successes already here.

Not being with the Reno Gazette Journal any longer has opened doors with Northern Nevada Business Weekly and other publications.  I have fewer conflicts of interest and no longer worry about crossing that invisible barrier between reporter and subject.  I am free to network.

Meeting with the Carson Area Marketing and PR Network is opening other opportunities …

Through it all, I am meeting terrific, professional people who really have a stake in making good things happen — and they’re contributing their talents to building a brighter economic future for northern Nevada.

Last week UNR selected six student-led business teams to compete in the Sontag competition — and for  $50,000 in grant money to start a business. The prize is winner-take-all, funded by a UNR Alum.  More than 35 groups submitted plans for businesses that ranged from a “made in the USA” snowboard company to high-tech innovative ways to reuse tar.

I wrote a story for eNevadaNow.org about a former corporate worker starting

Denise Bevard is turning her passion for quilting into a money-making business as Fiddlesticks & Humility after taking the Entrepreneur's class from SGS101.com and joining the Entrepreneur's Assembly (ea-nv.org)

a business as a quilting expert.  Denise Bevard will parley her hand-quilting expertise under the Fiddlesticks & Humility banner. Her mentors believe she’ll be self-supporting quite soon.

The point is that mentors WANT to help start businesses here … and many offer their advice for free … because their organizations are privately funded or operate under government auspices.

A staffing company owner today told me that his business is picking up — and that hiring temporary staff is a leading indicator of economic recovery …   all hopeful signs ….

GO RENO!
 

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