The North Carolina-based publication News & Observer has a nice profile up right now on an entrepreneur named T.J. Breeden, the founder of the nonprofit organization eMerging Enterprises. According to its website, eMerging Enterprises employs a grassroots approach to providing “Small Business Training, and Entrepreneurial Developmental services to veterans, military spouses, urban youth, and other under-served communities.” The News & Observer piece highlights Breeden’s accomplishments and tells the story of his start:
“He created a website with some planning tools for veterans who were interested in starting their own businesses, and he started using email and social media to reach out to potential clients.
Within three months, he had seven clients. A month later, he had 40. A few months after getting started, Breeden and his sister planned a small-business summit for veterans at Fort Bragg, the first of its kind, with 30 employers and 30 universities.
It was that event, he says, that got the attention of the White House. He was invited to Washington to discuss advancing economic prospects for veterans. In May 2012, the White House honored him as part of its Champions of Change program, which seeks to highlight the work of individuals in specific areas of need, such as veterans affairs…
His nonprofit is now a one-stop, first step for clients who might want to start anything from a construction business to a salon to a consulting firm. Breeden helps them tackle the basics: a business plan, securing funding, establishing partners—and often refers them to other resources from health care to training.”
Breeden’s story is a glimpse into the many possibilities that can arise out of acting on a whim. Not long after President Barack Obama spoke at nearby Fort Bragg in 2011, Breeden began offering advice to military family members transitioning into the workforce. He launched his website soon after. Within a year he was at the White House. It’s a neat story about harnessing technology and putting in hard work to assist those in need of a helpful hand.
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