To glimpse the hurdles keeping Charlotte, North Carolina, from becoming a hot spot for entrepreneurs, all you have to do is try a batch of one woman’s homemade cookies.
Her great-great-aunts used to bake them. And then her grandmother. They’d whip up a batch during times of hardship and rally the family around the oven. And now the recipe has landed in one Charlotte resident’s hands, rich with an intimate history.
It’s the perfect backdrop for a marketing campaign. But last year when the woman met with Holly Eskridge, who heads the city’s entrepreneurship and small business development program, she said she didn’t even know where to begin if she wanted to get more customers. There’s a circle of friends and neighbors who can already attest to their deliciousness, but what about beyond that?
The city had already funded a website, CharlotteBusinessResources.com, which puts small businesses in touch with online resources.
But after hearing the woman’s story, Eskridge realized the online portal wasn’t a fit for her needs…