What Makes a Small Business Champion?

Definition of "Champion"  

The word "Champion" can be used as a noun or a verb.
1.     a person who has defeated others in a competition (noun)
2.     One who has defeated all competing opponents so as to hold first place (noun)
3.     A person who fights for or defends any person or a cause (noun)
4.     to act as a champion of; defend; support (verb)

Definition of "Small Business"

In the United States small business is defined as:
1.     Micro business (1-6 employees)
2.     Small business (under 250 employees)

Our Definition of a Small Business Champion

We have determined two categories of Small Business Champions:

  1. Successful small business owners who find the time to give back to other small business owners and entrepreneurs. They act as mentors and consultants for people wishing to start their own business, create a product and/or develop new technology. They teach in their community or are associated with government or non-profit agencies that support local business economic growth. They volunteer two of their most valuable assets 1) knowledge and 2) time.
  2. Institutions and/or their employees who support small business creation and growth. They also act as mentors and consultants for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are starting or growing a business. They spend countless hours and resources creating educational opportunities, networking events and connecting the client to resources to help them acheive their goals.

In every Unit there is a page called SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPIONS. In those sections you can read interviews of some of these small business champions primarly discussing their "Lessons Learned". You will find most are just like you with the same dreams, fears etc. 

Champions are not the ones who always win races-champions are the ones who get out there and try. And try harder the next time. And even harder the next time. ‘Champion’ is a state of mind. They are devoted. They compete to best themselves as much if not more than they compete to best others. Champions are not just athletes.
— Simon Sinek

One who gets up when he can’t.
— Jack Dempsey

Interview Process

Kirsten Blake, owner of Chapter Be (and Leading Edge Graduate) helped us set up this interview process.

In order to give consistency to the Small Business Champion interviews, they will all follow the following format:

Short biography and introduction, and then 6 questions:

  1. How do you measure success?
  2. What is the biggest happy accident you have had in starting or conducting your business?
  3. When have you been the most satisfied in your life?
  4. What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting your business?
  5. What is your biggest struggle in being a small business owner (and/or in starting a small business)?
  6. If you weren't doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing?