Last month, Brenda Myers, owner of Entrepreneur’s Academy 101, sat with students, their friends and family in a crowded auditorium at the Capitol Neighborhood Association Center (411 Broad Street) in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Leah Bishop, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the WK Kellogg Foundation; Zakia Summers, Mississippi State Representative; Shante Crockett, Executive Director of the Center for Social Entrepreneurship; Toni Cooley, Chief Executive Officer of Systems Company; , a prominent community member of the capital.

Each student presented a vision of a business they believed could shape the landscape of Jackson and beyond. Myers takes the podium with confident eyes as her mentee, a young woman named Chaletha Johnson, pitches a business proposal called the Magnolia School of Decolme, designed around teaching etiquette to the Jackson children. I saw it go up to

Johnson weaved the audience with stories of the days she spent listening to her grandmother. It was a way of respecting the value that had given her.

Charresa Johnson, who enrolled in Entrepreneurs Academy 101 earlier this year, presented her business idea for the Magnolia School of Decorum on August 1, 2022 at the Capitol Neighborhood Association Center in Jackson. Photo credit: Brenda Myers

Myers noted that when Johnson began mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs, he tended to laugh nervously in tense situations. She skillfully delivered the pitch with great professionalism when I told her that I could be

“We were all disappointed when Charresa told us about her business plans,” Myers said. “She didn’t trip over her words or her stutter, and her confidence said a lot. When she finished speaking, she looked me straight in the eye and gathered there with her I taught her.” I appreciated all that I did to help other students. Experiences like that make all the difference for me.”

“Encourage young entrepreneurship”

Johnson is one of many students Myers has taught through her business, Entrepreneurs Academy 101, which she opened in Jackson in April 2022 as an entity under the nonprofit Entrepreneurs Academy 101 Foundation. . The Academy is an online school for individuals, both students and adults who want to learn the basics of starting their own business.The foundation offers scholarship opportunities to high school students enrolled in the program.

Courses cover topics such as time management, social media marketing, business networking, effective business planning, small business budgeting, charting individual strengths and weaknesses, and entrepreneurial thinking.

Students and others planning to enroll can watch webinars introducing the program and its options, take courses individually, as an entire curriculum, or as part of a bundle. Through the foundation, Myers also plans to establish a Computer Her Lab that will allow students who may not have a computer at home to participate in the program.

“Encouraging entrepreneurship among the younger generation is important because so many talented young people go to college to nurture and pursue their dreams and aspirations. I couldn’t get what I had,” Myers said. “I created her Entrepreneurs Academy 101 to provide an accessible way for high school students (and others) to learn skills, hone their craft, and turn their talents into success. The same is true for those who have

Myers will present on entrepreneurship at the 2020 Distributive Education Clubs of America State Conference.Photo credit: Brenda Myers

Myers’ first lessons in entrepreneurship came from his parents, who ran their own customizing and antique car sales part-time business after his father retired. But she didn’t pursue her entrepreneurial journey on her own until later in her life.When the 2009 stock market crash hit, Myers said Jackson’s Butler Worked at her Snow law firm. This has caused many businesses across the country to close or downsize and continue to exist. Butler Snow was one such business, and Myers became one of many employees the company had to lay off.

After receiving a severance payment from Butler Snow, Myers decided to start his own business. In 2010, she started Journey Insurance Solutions LLC, a life insurance agency that provides mortgage protection, life insurance, employee benefits, and end-of-life expense services for individuals and businesses. But she was still not satisfied and she wanted to find a way to pass on what she had learned about planning and starting a business to others.

“After the crash, I had to plan what I wanted to do with my life and turn around quickly,” Myers said. To impress and make sure that aspiring entrepreneurs don’t have to go through what I went through in the first few days, and that young people go through the usual 9 to 5 work experience.

“wear all hats”

In January 2022, Myers took the first steps toward establishing Entrepreneurs Academy 101, created online entrepreneurship courses using a program called Teachable, and launched her own website.

In addition to her work at the Academy, Myers participates in a mentoring program called the iVillage Legacy Project at the Center for Social Entrepreneurship on Grand Avenue in West Jackson. It was through this program that she met Chalesa Johnson after Dr. Kimberly Hilliard, director of the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, introduced them.

Brenda Myers (middle) sits between Monica Stewart Wilson, Human Resources Business Partner at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (left) and Dr. Monica Lewis, Director of Physical Education and Development at Jackson State University (right). : Learn how to start and grow your own business. Photo credit: Brenda Myers

“After joining the center’s mentorship program and learning about the Entrepreneurship Academy 101, I was immediately drawn to it,” says Johnson. Myers’ foundation offered Johnson a scholarship to take two of his courses. This helped us prepare for our pitch on August 1, 2022.

“At first, I knew how to make a business plan to bring the Magnolia School of Décorme to life, but Ms. Myers helped me expand the knowledge I had and helped me find grants and more here in Jackson. , CPA, and even good local universities,” the student continued.

“She kept in touch with me throughout the course to ensure that I had all the help I needed and categorized personal development, public speaking, budgeting, fundraising, etc. in a way that I could easily understand. I did,” Johnson added.

Myers is the author of two books on entrepreneurship, Becoming an Entrepreneur: Learn How to Start and Grow Your Business, The Productive Entrepreneur: The Secrets to Getting Everything Done, and an e-book on life insurance, Making the Decision. I am publishing. buy life insurance. ”

Myers moved from Madison to Jackson to care for his mother after his father died in 2018. I have grandchildren.

“As a business owner, I know that owning my business means wearing all hats when working for a company, not just one,” Myers said. “You have to be your own accountant, sales person, repair person, and everything you need is up to you.”

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I feel like I should have worn a hat like that, but for a long time I couldn’t make it happen,” she added. , I feel that offering my program at Jackson has helped create excitement and momentum that will get people interested and working to make our community a better place.”

Learn more or register for the Entrepreneurship Academy 101 here. Entrepreneur

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