Sunday, June 30, 2013

Trenton Entrepreneurship

TRENTON--A big part of what I want to do with this blog is share insights about topics that have piqued my interest over time. One of those interests include entrepreneurship and the unique world of small business. You maybe wondering what makes this topic so interesting to me. Well, I'm glad you asked, allow me to elaborate.

Since moving to Trenton, New Jersey in 2005, I have found that entrepreneurship and small business creation is very much needed in this community since this city is saddled with entrenched poverty and joblessness. All one needs to do is look at some of the recent closings of small businesses like Cafe International, Can Do Errands, Delorenzos, and historic Amefikas to see what I am getting at here. All of these individual entrepreneurs gave people a nice place to go to, quality products and services, and most importantly, they created jobs that people in the city could possibly take.

Now lets be quite clear, entrepreneurs do a number of things, but I want to focus one of the main things they do, that is, create jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, entrepreneurship and small business play a vital role in the US economy. And looking at Trenton's staggering 10.8% unemployment rate, it seems quite evident that entrepreneurship and small business creation can do our city some good.

According to Google, an entrepreneur is an individual that "takes the initiative to create a product or establish a business for profit". Indeed, the city of Trenton needs more initiative, and less complaint. Instead of moaning and groaning about all the potholes in Trenton, why not create a small businesses that specializes in paving streets? Instead of criticizing Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and the failing public school system, why not do what individuals like Baye Kemit did when he created an African-centered school that sought to address the problems facing public schools?

These examples strike me as the heart and soul of the entrepreneurial mindset. This type of mentality constantly seeks to solve issues instead of complaining or criticizing the powers that be. In short, entrepreneurs don't see problems, they see opportunities.

So I invite everyone to take something from the playbook of entrepreneurs by first of all being creative. Think outside of the box. Take calculated risks and step outside the comfort zone. The best entrepreneurs don't settle for the routine and get complacent. They push the envelope.

However, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that one should go stark-raving crazy by making reckless decisions. Rather the idea is to take moderate well-informed risks and be creative when looking at the stark realities that face communities like Trenton. Instead of seeing hopelessness and desolation, why not see promise and possibility? That's the question I wrestle with everyday and leave with you to ponder.


  1. You have a very good point. I think the people of the city of Trenton need to find away to make extra income period but what will they do with that extra income. One of the issues are people's mind set. But none the less with extra income great things can be accomplished.

    My idea of extra income I have been trying to plant in the minds of many over the past year is network marketing. It's like starting up a business but skipping the huge start up cost. The rewards are great but mostly found when people have great minds. People who have the I don't quit attitude do amazingly well with this business. If this could be adopted by some strong leaders of this city it could grow like wild fire and help many.

    Well that is my input on the subject at hand.

    Anthony L. Lewis

  2. Hi Anthony,

    Thank you for your comment. I think you make a valid point about having a can do type of attitude or mindset. With this mindset one can deal with life's pressures and setbacks with a sense of self-confidence. Indeed, I can testify from personal experience that self-confidence can go a long way in terms of both your personal and professional life. For example, when I was selling newspaper subscriptions over the phone, my self confidence or belief in myself helped me consistently reach my sales goals despite technical problems, indifferent prospects, and pressure from management.

    Having this type of can do mindset is crucial when discussing entrepreneurship since entrepreneurs deal with challenges and obstacles all the time. They deal with fundraising issues, slow starts, and various barriers to entry.But they don't run at the first sign of trouble. They have enough self confidence to work through these challenges and keep going.

    Thanks again for sharing your input.

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  4. Excellent article, and points well-taken! As a small business owner myself, I can attest to the power of local entrpreneurs to create jobs and enrich communities.