The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Entrepreneurs give business advice to students

Local+McDonald%E2%80%99s+franchise+owner+and+operator+Arminda+Grissett+discusses+internship+opportunities+with+South+SGA+President+Aubrie+Lortie.+Photo+by+Christian+Garza%2FThe+Collegian
Local McDonald’s franchise owner and operator Arminda Grissett discusses internship opportunities with South SGA President Aubrie Lortie. Photo by Christian Garza/The Collegian
February 12, 2020 | Jill Bold | editor-in-chief
Local McDonald’s franchise owner and operator Arminda Grissett discusses internship opportunities with South SGA President Aubrie Lortie. Photo by Christian Garza/The Collegian

The 14th annual Ariel Hunter-Chriss Women and Minority Owned Enterprise and Business Professionals’ Conference paired students with entrepreneurs and business and community leaders to share with students how to navigate the business world through workshops and keynote speakers Feb. 6-7.

Workshops taught essentials of business marketing, financing for a business and developing a business image. Tarsha Polk led the Build Your Personal Brand workshop, showing students how they can market themselves to others.

“I am always looking to grow professionally,” South SGA president Aubrie Lortie said. “I saw it as a really advantageous opportunity.”

Lortie is also the South Campus Phi Theta Kappa vice president, and she hopes to earn her bachelor’s, practice law and transition to a position in politics.

By attending the personal branding workshop, she said she gained new knowledge and skills that she will use in the future.

“Being able to articulate and share your story is very essential in the business world,” Lortie said. “If you cannot connect emotionally with people, then they are going to potentially ignore your incredible business.”

Local McDonald’s franchise owner and operator Anthony Grissett discusses his success story. Photo by Christian Garza/The Collegian

In addition to the workshops, organizations like the Tarrant Small Business Development Centers were on hand to inform attendees that free services are available to potential entrepreneurs. Tarrant SBDC associate Kem Grant, a retired banker of 25 years, said the clients they serve are seeking a start in small business.

“Small businesses are the root of the economy,” said Grant.

Free services at Tarrant SBDC are available to help with start-up costs, cash flow, competitor analysis, bookkeeping and other essential components to keeping a business thriving.

Executive director for community education and engagement Terry Aaron attended the conference for many years before being elected to the advisory council, inspired by a workshop about financial freedom. Hoping for a lesson in getting rich, she said she came away with valuable lessons on how to build wealth through expanding one’s portfolio.

Giveaways included opportunities to have one-on-one lunch meetings with many of the business professionals, such as local McDonald’s franchise owner Anthony Grissett. Grissett came to network with students and guided them on how to find success in their business ventures.

“Growing up as a kid, I didn’t have many people to talk to me about the opportunity to one day own my own business,” Grissett said.

He said this conference was a great example of how to enlighten students and future business owners.

“If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you should embrace who you are,” Grissett said.

The proceeds from this conference, and the Ariel Hunter-Chriss grant, funded through the TCC Foundation, will benefit College For Kids, one of TCC’s youth enrichment programs held in the summer for students grades 1-8.

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