Blog with Rob: Give a man a fish, teach a man to fish.
Many business owners seek out ways to actively give back to their community. Working with charitable organizations is certainly one avenue many owners take. And with so many worthy causes out there, it is certainly a fantastic way to lift up other members of your neighborhood. But some owners who have participated in volunteer efforts through various community programs and projects have felt as if they are putting a bandage on a much larger, more serious problem.
Take for instance, Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Company (which brews successful brand, Sam Adams). Koch had participated in local events before, like volunteering alongside his employees to help paint a community center. But only a few days after the event, it was clear to him that painting a building wasn’t really the most valuable act of service he could provide to others in need.
Koch then created the Brewing the American Dream Program to help mentor budding entrepreneurs in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry. About 50 entrepreneurs attend each session and participate in networking and a sort of speed-dating consultation with Koch or a coach affiliated with the Boston Beer Company. Each coach has a specific area of expertise and will spend 20 minutes discussing a particular problem the entrepreneur is facing. The entrepreneur can meet with up to six coaches.
Many entrepreneurs have passion and the skills to back up their ideas, but not the business clout. This kind of speed-dating approach is a wonderful way for an experienced business owner or entrepreneur to give back to the upstart businesses in their own backyard.