By Crystal Eynon
Staff Writer

Jim Gray, a consultant to the Ohio Small Business Development Centers, explained that “You have to have self-confidence, be able to promote yourself, and market your business.” He also advised that as an entrepreneur you need to “know when it’s time to make adjustments with your product.”

Discussion panelists Dave Johnson, Robert Smith, Katie Van Dyke, Jim Gray, and Derrick Robbins were all at LCCC on Feb. 20, to answer a series of questions lead by former model and current small business owner, Luvenia Wilkerson.

The panelists were chosen for their work as entrepreneurs and business owners, all of them being former or current residents of Lorain County. Their mission was to enlighten the 100 students and local business owners with their knowledge and to insist that they persevere with their products.

Vice President of Public Relations for Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center, Dave Johnson had advised the audience to “know your product,” “understand who wants to buy your product,” and to know “how to get your message to the audience.”

There were many suggestions made by the discussion panelists and a lot of advice given. All of them seemed to agree on several key factors of entrepreneurship, that you mustn’t take “no” for an answer.

As the panel discussion ended, the audience was able to visit with tables set up with information and resources for local businesses. Some of the participating organizations included: COSE, FCII-OHIO, GLIDE, Lorain County Urban League Minority Business Assistance Council, and the Lorain County Small Business Development Center.