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SF Small Business Week. Celebrate Small Business.

“The rewards are gigantic!” #SFSBW2015 Interview: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

#SFSBW2015 asked the nonprofit organizations that support small businesses throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help businesses flourish in today’s marketplace.

Today we hear from Sharon Miller, CEO, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Tell us about your organization in one sentence.

Renaissance provides entrepreneurship training classes and support services to help San Franciscans start and grow thriving businesses.

What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace?

Renaissance provides small business owners with comprehensive training, access to capital, business incubation and individual consulting to support them in preparing for, launching and We appreciate you!growing their own businesses.

We also provide opportunities for emerging business owners to learn first-hand from established businesses and for all business owners to build critical networks with like-minded entrepreneurs.

What is your organization doing to attract and support new and younger small business owners who are starting out today? What are you doing to bridge the gap between old and new businesses?

We are outreaching to both older (or longer standing) businesses and newer businesses and bringing them together for training, networking and support in neighborhood corridors – focusing on the Leland Ave. Corridor in Visatacion Valley and Third Street in Bayview Hunters Point.

Please describe one of your organization’s innovations. How has this enhanced way you reach and serve your clients or members?

Renaissance provides training in social media—providing small business owners the opportunity to learn the best practices for their businesses.

We are also enhancing our curriculum to use current start-up practices, such as the Business Model Canvas to create visual business plans and Lean Start Up principles.

What is one lesson you would like to share with small business owners—especially those who are struggling to change the way they do business in the current climate?   

While small business owners face challenges, the rewards are gigantic. While you must work incredibly hard, you have the freedom to decide how your business operates, how you will treat your employees and customers and what you will bring to the marketplace.

What is the most important belief or principle that guides your work and the trajectory of your organization?

Renaissance believes that it doesn’t take a miracle to start and grow a business.  Business owners bring their hard work and determination and Renaissance provides the access to training, resources and networks needed to help our clients achieve their goals of small business ownership.