Today, I presented the non-profit I co-founded, Abilities for Business, to a group of fellow entrepreneurs through an organization called 1 Million Cups in the Columbia, MO community. 1 Million Cups is geared toward both local entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs nationwide and is a platform for business owners to share information, business ideas and challenges.
I was received by about 35 attendees that asked valuable questions and provided awesome recommendations for making Abilities for Business financially strong, for ways to improve networking and ideas for our three-year strategic plan!
Abilities for Business was developed in 2015 to encourage inclusivity and diversity in the workforce! Advocating for the hiring of individuals with disabilities (or, as I call them, ‘different abilities’) is a passion of mine. I have become involved with mentoring youth, working with local provider agencies and state entities like Vocational Rehabilitation and the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council.
The initial goal was for Abilities for Business to be the liaison between providers and the business community, but over the course of the first year, we grew to realize that the business needed more information and education regarding hiring individuals with different abilities. From there, we transitioned from Abilities for Business to the Mid-Missouri Business Leadership Network, an Affiliate of the US Business Leadership Network charged with more business-to-business engagement.
Stay tuned, and I’ll provide more updates about Abilities for Business in the future. For now, if you are a business in need of quality, qualified employees, think outside the box and try to pull from a ‘different’ pool of talent. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
— Kat —