Those who know me understand that I am fond of the confluence of character, competence and execution.
I had the recent opportunity to see a “fine-tuned” example of this at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s (IFEL) 2nd Annual Business Plan Competition and Mini-Conference in Newark, NJ. As noted from its web-site, IFEL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports inner-city economic development through entrepreneurship. It helps ambitious entrepreneurs leverage the resources necessary to create sustainable and profitable for-profit, non-profit and social ventures. In so doing, IFEL seeks to create jobs and wealth in the communities that it serves. IFEL has a special outreach effort targeting women and minority entrepreneurs and inner-city based business owners.
IFEL is run by a dynamic co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Jill Johnson, who has not only a passion for the cause of her organization but, in my estimation, is also clearly involved in the “destiny business”. Sonny Corleone in “The God Father” often made mention that “it’s not personal, it’s business”. And yet, when it comes to the subject of building organizations, early stage to large companies, there is simply no way I know of to hold the interests of others in trust, their destinies, if you don’t get personal. Let me be clear, this is not to say that this should diminish the capacity for hard and necessary decisions, rather it means that a focus on creating enterprise value propositions is both personal and business oriented.
To understand how Jill and all those who support and are supported by IFEL get this idea, please visit the IFEL website at http://www.ifelnj.org/; better yet, let Jill know you can help the cause she supports, or ask how IFEL can help you. And, congratulations to all of the finalists of the 2nd Annual IFEL Business Plan Competition, specifically to Joelle Hinds-Ware, Managing Partner of Verify-Ed, 2009 competition winner, http://www.verify-ed.com/.
Jill and IFEL clearly know how to “promise the dawn.”