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Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI)

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 Jordan Agnew

Friday, Feb. 21, 2014

This past week our NPI team and Yacanex Posadas, a small-business consultant with Wells Fargo, met with Mrs. Romero, who along with her husband have owned and operated Romero’s Cakes for over 20 years. Going out into San Jose and meeting with a struggling small business owner was an incredibly thought provoking experience. The Romero’s business has been struggling since the nationwide recession, and 6 years later they are looking for solutions to jump start their business. The NPI and Wells Fargo initiative seems like a great opportunity for them to get help turning the business back around, and for us as students to get hands on small business experiences. 

As I entered the store with my team and Yacanex, I immediately started putting together ideas of how I could help them improve. I was filled with excitement, and yet a little worried about how qualified my ideas were. A project like this is why I minored in Entrepreneurship; I love the idea of being part of a small business and trying to come up with simple ideas to improve it. The finance major in me came out immediately, as I noticed their POS system seemed to be out of date, prices for their products are not visible, and there seemed to be minimal monitoring of revenues and expenses. Other members of my group start to notice inconsistencies with their branding, a lack of online and technology presence, and opportunities for better signage and marketing collateral throughout the store. Together we started jotting down notes and formulating ideas in order to create a more formal plan for our next visit with the Romero’s. 

I can't think of any better way to describe this experience than “real.”  As a senior who is his finishing his last couple of classes in the business school, I have spent countless hours reviewing case studies, defining markets, analyzing financials, and other “business school 101” activities, but this experience feels like one that I have been building my skills for. The Romeros had no ego or entitled attitude, they are just genuinely trying to improve their business. Our team immediately felt Mrs. Romero’s positive attitude and passion for her business and will use that as our inspiration moving forward to contribute to their business. 

 

 

 
 
 
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