Entrepreneur Interview

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After interviewing Jerry Smith, a social entrepreneur in Detroit, Michigan, I made a narrated PowerPoint displaying the information I gained through the interview.

Text of Entrepreneur Interview

  • 1. Amy Grabowski
    Entrepreneurial Communication
    Dr. Cristina Gilstrap
    July 29, 2011
    Jerry Smith: The Baking Friar

2. Jerry Smith Executive director
Friar and Baker
Capuchin Soup Kitchen (sponsor of On the Rise Bakery)
Serves people with mental illness, substance abuse, physical disabilities, limited education, and low self-esteem
Provides meals and clothing
Detroit, Michigan
On the Rise Bakery, 2011
3. Demographic questionnaire summary
63 years old
No children
Capuchin Soup Kitchen and On the Rise Bakery are social services
On the Rise Bakery started in 2006
67 employees in the food kitchen, 4-5 full-time bakers, 6 trainees
4. History
The soup kitchen has been feeding people since 1929
Soup kitchen provides free food
The endeavor is run by friars
On the Rise Bakery was founded as a sister-service of the soup kitchen
Bakers are men who used to be homeless or imprisoned (see picture)
Smiths close friend started the bakery
On the Rise Bakery, 2011
5. Metaphor
Smith says, Being a social entrepreneur is like leaping into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim.
Friars had no idea how to start and manage business
6. Stories and narratives
Entrepreneurial story
Bakers sell food in retail store during week
Sell food to parishes after weekend services
Pastors allow bakers to tell their stories
Church groups, community groups, students
7. Stories and narratives
Essential elements
Smith says, People must realize that this is a vehicle for men to change their lives.
Changing the story
Past soup kitchen is a charity
Present soup kitchen provides justice and change
8. Leadership
Characteristics of a good social entrepreneur:
9. Leadership
Characteristics of a good social entrepreneur leader
10. Leadership
Smith says the stakeholders include The bakers themselves.The men who are coming out of incarceration or homelessness.
The Capuchin Soup Kitchen
50 volunteers
Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 2011
11. Challenges
Unique challenges faced by social entrepreneurs
Funding will never get conventional funding from a bank, most operate on donations and grants
Biggest challenges Smith has faced
Meeting the needs of the men in the program
Challenging the men
Finding a facility and renovating it
12. Uncertainties
Money Will we have enough money to keep going?
Work with University of Michigan
Become more efficient
Screen men more thoroughly before they enter the program
Open new markets
13. Risks
Challenges of funding Afraid the bakery will be a burden on the soup kitchen
Ruining the reputation of the soup kitchen if something tragic were to happen with the bakery
14. Risks
Strategies to handle risks
Talk to staff about how the bakery needs to protect the good name of Capuchin Soup Kitchen
Be very careful about who speaks to the public about the program and who works in the store
Open invitation for people to come and see what the bakery does
15. Work-life balance
Challenges to balancing responsibilities
Bakers sleeping on Jerry Smiths living room floor
Strategies to balance responsibilities
Develop specific hours that the bakery is open
Try not to take work home at night
Not having a cell phone (most effective unavailable after work hours)
16. Persuasion and compliance gaining
Essential communication skills
Effective public speaker :
17. Persuasion and compliance gaining
Situations where persuasion skills are needed
Smith says, I do a lot of speaking in front of groups.Some of the groups dont have a lot of experience with people from the city, and so they have some preconceived notions about people who live in the city and people who are facing the kinds of situations from which we draw our bakers.
18. Persuasion and compliance gaining
Persuasive strategies
Communicating from the managerial perspective (least effective)
Asking people to come and visit the bakery
Having bakers share their experiences (most effective people enjoy hearing first-hand testimonials)
A baker sharing a testimonial at a fundraiser
On the Rise Bakery, 2011
19. Advice
Look for a niche market
Something unique
Something for which there is possibility for success
Go for it
Think out of the box
See what happens
Dont be afraid to fail
20. Additional comment
Smith says, This project [On the Rise Bakery] has captured the imagination of the people here.Weve had tremendous support.The bakery is a breath of fresh air for the soup kitchen.
21. Conclusion
Funding is an ever-present need
Social entrepreneurs must have the ability to dream but also implement strategies for success
Apply knowledge gained from past experiences