On the 4th week of each month, CET invites experts and experienced entrepreneurs to share the building blocks to get your company off the ground.
What is the purpose of a business plan and why are business plans so important?
Join the conversation and hear from Erica King of ShortyMix Gourmet Cookies and Darcella Craven of VetBiz on how they each view business plans and key takeaways for getting started and leveraging the power of the business plan for your small business
Erica King knows the pleasure of traveling to new places and indulging in unique experiences. In 2019, she started her company, Shorty Mix Gourmet Cookies, aiming to capture these cultures in a cookie. After discovering a cookbook that her grandmother left her and quitting her job she began manufacturing boldly flavored “grown up” cookies in her home that allowed customers anywhere to discover the world in a bite.
With the help of St. Louis startup incubator programs like Square One Boot Camp and the BALSA Foundation, Erica learned entrepreneurial skills to operate her business. She graduated from her home and partnered with STL Foodworks, an incubator kitchen which has helped to introduce her delicious and decadent cookies to the community. You’ll find her engaging with her customers on Instagram and Facebook @shortymixcookies and interacting with her online store, smgcookies.com, to ship her cookies throughout the united states.
Darcella has over 25 years of experience in corporate, government, non profit and military organizations. She is currently the President and Chief Fear Conqueror of Vetbiz, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting Honorably Discharged Veterans, National Guard and Reservist, transitioning military and their families with starting and expanding businesses. The organization was awarded the 2015 Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year by the U. S. Small Business Administration and she was proud to travel to the White House to accept the award with her co-worker. Ms. Craven testified before the U. S. Senate’s Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship in 2019.
Featured in numerous articles for her transition from the welfare system to an accomplished businesswoman, she specializes in program implementation, change management and creating group training programs. She is a requested speaker on business development, entrepreneurship, life management, human capital and nonprofit management and is actively involved in many civic organizations. She served as the Chairwoman of the U. S. Small Business Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri from 2015 – 2017, and has been recognized as a Top 100 St. Louisans You Should Know by the Small Business Monthly, a Young Leader from the St. Louis American Foundations and is a YWCA Leader of Distinction in Nonprofits. Additionally, she is the 2015 SBA Volunteer of the Year, 2009 Small Business Administration Veterans Business Champion for Eastern Missouri and Region 7 (MO, IA, NE, KS) and recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the Most Influential Minority Business Leader and Women Business Leader.