What does it take to surpass the US$1 million threshold in business? Is it luck, hard work, networking or something less obvious? Lauren King, EO Accelerator Program Director, spoke with us and shared how the program is fueling entrepreneurial innovation and growth globally:
How is EO Accelerator innovative in its approach?
LK: We’re very nimble. Anytime someone has an idea, or a chapter finds something that’s working really well, we’re able to take that, apply it and see how well it works in another location. This happens faster than in a lot of EO chapters because our participants want to grow, learn and change, and hit that million-dollar mark faster – they’re all willing to try something new and just go with it!
What specific growth are you seeing within participants?
LK: There are entrepreneurs who are taking the learning and content we’re giving them, and they’ve applied it, tremendous growth! For instance, there’s a graduate named Brandon Dempsey in St. Louis who looked at his sales and marketing versus his finance. He noticed a large gap in time between billing and receiving payment, and that was dragging down his revenue. He found that if he worked to develop a relationship with his customers and created touch points of contact throughout the year, it closed that gap.
Brenden learned all that through Accelerator; it forced him to stop and look at what he was doing, make that change and see what results came about. He’s said over and over again that this is what helped him earn over US$1 million.
How is the program structured?
LK: Accelerators meet four times a year and learn specific content. Between those sessions, they have a monthly accountability group, similar to Forum, where they’re encouraged to take those nuggets that they learned and apply them. Working in this way forces them to try new things and evolve their businesses. On top of that, these groups are led by an EO member, so that’s another voice of experience. This is all supplemented by interaction with local EO chapters, helping burgeoning entrepreneurs grow– and that’s what makes our program stand out.
What are your future goals for EO Accelerator?
LK: I have two larger goals. One is to grow the program, especially abroad. There’s more markets, more businesses that need our help. Second, to create more consistency within the program, so participants from different countries are meeting the same program guidelines and standards.
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