By thelaegotist / / Local Playa Vista agency Team One is launching Crenshaw CORE, an October 20—21 event designed to celebrate and bolster small business and entrepreneurship in South Los Angeles. The centerpiece will be a small-business workshop that aims to help local businesses in the Crenshaw District adapt to their rapidly changing environment as the makeup of this traditionally African American neighborhood develops. The Los Angeles agency, Publicis Groupe’s Premium and Luxury agency, is hosting the two-day event at the historic Vision Theater. Participating neighborhood businesses will include Ride On! bike co-op, KAOS Network, and Dulans Soul Food Kitchen. Crenshaw CORE is named for Crenshaw Boulevard, the main business thoroughfare that runs through Southwestern Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District, which has traditionally been heavily populated by African Americans. In recent years, Crenshaw has seen somewhat of a migration of other groups as the Metro line has expanded, construction has boomed and people have moved to new neighborhoods to find affordable housing. The name CORE comes from the acronym of Team One’s guiding principles for their employees: to be Collaborative, Optimistic, Results-Driven and Entrepreneurial. “The Metro construction is literally blocking the storefronts, but our goal is to help businesses leverage online platforms so they can reach customers beyond the physical barriers. Digital marketing and product design can really help small businesses during a time like this,” said Malika Jones, copywriter at Team One and co-creator of the initiative. On Friday, Oct. 20, leaders in the art, business and entertainment fields shared “Stories From the Heart,” in multimedia performances, as Team One hosted a night of interactive storytelling, authenticity and inspiration at the community theater. Speakers included: Julian Mitchell, Forbes Columnist Jarim Person-Lynn, Author and Wealth Coach for The Winners Circle Group, LLC Zaneta Smith, Organizer of TEDxCrenshaw Sheila Marmon, Founder and CEO of Mirror Digital Verbs (Kyle Guy), Founder of Bananas Ben Caldwell, Filmmaker, Founder of KAOS Network and Community Advocate TODAY, more than 40 local business owners and entrepreneurs will learn and practice strategies in an onsite workshop with teaching teams led by a Team One employee and an outside expert. The three areas of focus will be: Product Management and Design, Finance and Investment and Digital Marketing. “We are offering more than just the weekend workshop, we are connecting with the businesses at different angles with one-on-one mentorship, financial consulting and tangible assets like headshots, business templates and subscriptions to web-hosting software like Squarespace,” said Leon Baham, Experience Designer. The program is receiving marketing support through the Crenshaw CORE website and an outreach on Facebook and Instagram. The social media component began on Aug. 1, and continues to provide daily content that educates, engages and inspires the community about the project and topics such as Crenshaw’s history, gentrification and small-business practices. These social channels will live on after the workshop and grow in the hands of the community. Team One will work with local college students aspiring to a career in marketing, and train them to take the reins and continue to market the small businesses as well as engage community members to learn about local events and discuss neighborhood topics. Crenshaw CORE arose out of Team One’s annual creative challenge, Launch an Idea. Employees were given the opportunity to apply “big thinking to impact a community in need.” The winning team received $25,000 plus access to all agency capabilities to make this idea a reality. That’s where Malika Jones, Leon Baham and Robert Holeman came together to create Crenshaw CORE, which now has a team of five organizers spearheading the program as well as support from other Team One employees as needed. “The best part of the Crenshaw CORE project is that it lives beyond one moment of impact and makes the grant a true investment in the cause. We are hoping we can replicate this program in other office locations for their local neighborhoods facing similar obstacles,” added Team One CCO, Chris Graves.
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