This fall, through a partnership with the World Trade Center Denver and the University of Denver Grand Challenges initiative, the Center for Professional Development launched a Business Development Certificate aimed at helping immigrants, many of whom are refugees, build their own business from the ground up. Drawing on the talents of experts in operations, sales, marketing, finance, strategy, and law, the courses were designed to lead students through business plan development, financial planning, legal pathways, and brand development to provide a comprehensive look at the essentials of business development.
Kaye Nash, a student in the course, is working with partners to launch her business, Purple Point Neurodiagnostics. The company will provide affordable neurological testing for people suffering from epilepsy and other neurological disorders in Cameroon, Africa.
We had a chance to catch up with Nash and learn more about how the Business Development Certificate program is helping her get her business up and running and how the World Trade Center Denver provides additional support for immigrants looking to start and/or expand their import/export business.
How did you hear about the Business Development Certificate courses?
I learned about the World Trade Center Denver and the Business Development Certificate courses from my business partner, Daniel. He had worked with the WTC Denver organization before and had nothing but positive experiences. Since we are starting a new business, I thought it would be perfect to embark upon another journey and take the classes to learn and get a better understanding of how to run our business.
What is the focus of your business?
We just started our business around the same time we started taking the classes, which created a smooth transition and learning experience for us. The name of our business is Purple Point Neurodiagnostics, which consists of myself and three other partners. We are a company that will provide affordable neurological testing for people suffering from epilepsy and other neurological disorders in Cameroon, Africa.
How did the Business Development Certificate courses help you achieve business goals?
The courses played an intricate role by teaching us how to strategically run our business globally. The four-step process started with developing a detailed business plan to help us structure our business with the necessary steps to operate globally.
As entrepreneurs, the financial planning for business class was important because it gave us the blueprint of learning how to measure our progress financially. We were able to build a financial model that we can use to explain and see the growth of our business, which is important. The legal pathways for business class opened our eyes to a full understanding of the legal aspects we may face as a new business and what is required when operating and creating a business. The laws are different in Africa, so this class was particularly important.
Our last class will be developing our brand and marketing. This is going to help us understand who our target customer is and understand how to provide those services to that market. The WTC Denver has been guiding us and helping us understand how to run our business to be able to sustain and be successful, so these classes are the icing on the cake.
What was your opinion of the courses overall and of the professors?
I am new at entrepreneurship and running a business. These courses give you the meat that you will need to be successful in running a business.
Wow, I cannot say enough about the professors, as they have been utterly amazing in cultivating me in this journey. Professor Craig Maginess took time out of his busy schedule to meet with me and my other business partners to help us build our business plan. This was a long and strategic process. Professor Kurt Gerwitz also spent countless hours out of his busy day to help us build our financial model. Professor David Aschkinasi has played an intricate part in helping us learn and understand the legalities and challenges that we may face as a new business in Africa.
I consider this truly answering the call of humanity when you have professors of this caliber who will take a student under their wings and help them build their business. These professors showed us that they see our vision, care about us as a person, and they believe in our business. That alone speaks volumes and is just priceless. As a woman of color, this whole experience has impacted and changed my life in more ways than I can imagine. The World Trade Center Denver and these University of Denver course professors hold a special place in my heart!
Read more about the Business Development Certificate on the University College Blog or learn more about the program on the Center for Professional Development website. To learn how the World Trade Center Denver helps immigrants and refugees start or expand their global business with the Global Trade Activator, please visit the World Trade Center Denver website.