Start:ME is a free intensive 14-session business training program for promising small businesses that provides entrepreneurs the tools and connections necessary to build and grow successful businesses. We operate in three metro Atlanta communities – Clarkston, East Lake, and Southside Atlanta. When successful, these businesses generate income for entrepreneurs and their families, while at the same time, build neighborhood vitality. Start:ME has helped 208 businesses around the ATL start and grow since 2013!
Brian Goebel serves as the Managing Director for Social Enterprise at Goizueta (SE@G), a research center within Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, which generates meaningful societal impacts by making markets work for more people, in more places, in more ways. As part of his role at Emory, Brian’s serves as the Program Director for Start:ME.
Mercedes Rivera is a maker, artist, entrepreneur, and Start:ME East Lake coordinator.Mercedes graduated from Start:ME’s East Lake program in 2019 to accelerate her business, Heart Mercedes. Heart Mercedes is a handmade artisan goods and creative management services promoting the “Random Acts of Kindness” movement. Mercedes has shown up to nursing homes with dozens of balloons, taught beading lessons to special needs children, and funded a trip to Southeast Asia to host a feeding program for the less fortunate. As a fellow entrepreneur, Mercedes understands the highs and lows of one’s entrepreneurial journey, and she is passionate about working with entrepreneurs to make positive impacts through their local communities!
Jennifer Andersen Smith provides leadership, support and assistance for all of Atlantic Capital Bank’s community development initiatives and projects as the bank’s Community Development Officer. In her role she oversees community empowerment programs, such as financial and credit education, one-on-one counseling, and other specific outreach efforts. Atlantic Capital is proud to sponsor Start:ME 2019 Holiday Gift Guide which highlights amazing local businesses for your holiday shopping needs!
Anne Rice is a licensed therapist in both Georgia and New York. Anne received her bachelors in psychology from Princeton University and her masters in counseling from Boston College. Anne lived and worked in Brooklyn providing in home therapy and then supervision for a team of therapists in Staten Island before returning to her home state of Georgia.
In Georgia she provided in home therapy before starting her own private therapy practice, Firefly Wellness Counseling. In the summer of 2018, after looking for space to expand her practice, Anne created Blue House Wellness, a coworking space for mental health professionals. Anne is passionate about helping other therapists launch their practices and reducing the stigma around seeking mental health services.
In her spare time, Anne can be found baking and exploring Atlanta with her husband and infant daughter.
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Questions and Topics in this Interview
- What Start:ME is doing for small businesses
- The importance of supporting small businesses
- How to shop online and in person this holiday season
- Start:Me 2019 Holiday Gift Guide
- The value of partnerships
- Volunteering as a skilled based mentor
- What inspired Anne Rice to start a coworking space for therapists
- What are the challenges of starting a private practice for a therapist?
- How Blue House Wellness helps the community
- What does Blue House Wellness offer?
- What are the benefits and difficulties of being a business owner and a new mom?