Julia Silverio, 2010 StreetWise 'MBA'™ alum, is making a difference in the City of Lawrence. She came to the city as a first generation immigrant and mixed hard work, intuition, and community spirit to found and grow a successful business, hold elected office, and serve as a trusted resource for countless residents and business owners hoping to gain a foothold in Lawrence.
City Fresh was incorporated in 1994. Currently, I'm a shareholder, as well as my brother. We have a couple other shareholders that recently invested, and it's always been some makeup of me and others in terms of ownership.
In a nutshell, we bring in raw materials; we cook it; we package it; we ship it out to feed thousands of elementary-school children. We also do childcare and a bunch of elderly business. So, we're a delivery company at the same time.
City Growers stemmed out of City Fresh, but it's a different company. I saw a need for localized food production. We had all these vacant lots in our community; City Fresh had demand and was buying stuff; we said 'Let's just grow locally.'
On her first day in the 2013 Memphis StreetWise™ class, Briggette Green was unsure if it was right for her. “It was really intense!” she said, “but Steve [the instructor] had a lot of energy, and my CEO group – I still meet with them.” Briggette worked hard throughout the duration of the program and successfully completed her Strategic Growth Action Plan™.
“If you are truly putting in the work, you cannot fail.” Nearly two years after completion of the program, she continues to meet regularly with her CEO Mentoring Group. “We meet at least once a month and help each other with business challenges and issues. I recently put one of them in touch with a contact of mine who helped him save his business.”
The Delaware Nation launched the Delaware Nation Economic Development Authority (DNEDA) in 2009 with the goal of creating profitable businesses that would provide employment to Delaware tribe members and Anadarko citizens. Anadarko, located on the banks of the Washita River and known as the “Indian Capital of the Nation,” has a population of 6,700, the majority of whom are Native Americans. The poverty rate between the 1,500 Delaware Nation and other tribal residents in Anadarko is more than 30 percent.
After an aggressive beginning, the organization had made little progress on fostering economic prosperity through entrepreneurial ventures, and was losing money. When Jerry Kennedy was hired as CEO in 2011, DNEDA had three employees, no revenue and what seemed like an insurmountable hole with losses. They had launched a few businesses, but none with enough momentum to lift off the ground.