EO in the News: Entrepreneurs help one another climb to the top

Tennessean Business Editor Randy McClain’s Sunday business column last week profiled EO Nashville’s new Catalyst program and three Catalyst members: Blake Chaffin, Nashville Event Lighting; Alicia Jones, West End Interiors; and Diane Durand, Alphachimp Studio. The article (which you can read here) chronicles how Blake, Alicia and Diane came to open businesses in Nashville and how they became involved in Catalyst. Check out a clip from the article below:

Lend a helping hand

Despite their varied fields of interest, Jones, Chaffin and Durand are among a group of young business owners who have begun to talk to one another, share common problems and brainstorm about how to solve marketing dilemmas, financial problems and personnel issues.

They learn from one another’s mistakes and act as seat-of-the-pants mentors for one another.

It’s all part of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization/Entrepreneur Center “Catalyst” project, which kicked off a month ago. The program will run for a year and a half with its current class of owners.

The 20-member group, representing industries ranging from energy to marketing to manufacturing, meets in class every other Tuesday to share experiences. Other, more-established business owners make presentations and offer advice as well.

Michael Burcham, president and CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center on Lower Broadway, serves as one of the mentors.

It’s a very noncapitalistic twist in what can be a dog-eat-dog business world.

“Everyone just seems to want to help each other,” Chaffin says. “It’s more like man sharpens man.”


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