By Kris Nagel
In the vibrant heart of Sacramento, the Equity and Wellness Institute stands as a powerful catalyst for change, leaving a permanent mark on communities and institutions alike. At the helm of this inspiring story is Tamu Green, an entrepreneur with a vision deeply rooted in social justice and an unwavering commitment to creating a more equitable world. Her entrepreneurial journey and the growth of the Equity and Wellness Institute are a testament to the vital role played by the Sacramento Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
A Commitment to Progress
“I was all of 25 years old and wanted to be able to have control over my financial affairs and my time,” says Tamu, reflecting on her initial motivation to start her first consulting firm 27 years ago. Her mission to drive positive change in the community was deeply rooted in her upbringing.
Growing up, Tamu’s parents were impassioned civil rights activists who fervently championed social justice and equity. Their indomitable spirit and commitment to positive change persists in Tamu’s work. She inherited their fervor to stand for what is right and found her own unique way to contribute to the ongoing battle against inequality.
The Equity and Wellness Institute, born out of Tamu’s previous consulting endeavors, represents her resolve to help institutions better serve their communities. In recent years, she noticed government agencies and other institutions increasingly recognize their role in addressing systemic racism and oppression. They sought to understand their responsibilities and make impactful changes, and Tamu’s background made her exceptionally qualified to guide them through this transformational process.
Accessing SBDC Resources
Starting a business is a challenging endeavor, especially without a formal education in business management. For Tamu, the road to success was marked by formidable obstacles, from securing capital to navigating the complex world of entrepreneurship. With the SBDC by her side, Tamu found the guidance and support she needed to turn her vision into a thriving reality.
SBDC advisors worked closely with Tamu to refine her business growth strategy, navigate the complexities of certifying as a minority-owned business, and tackle the hiring process. These hurdles were especially daunting considering that until this year, Tamu was the only full time employee of the Equity and Wellness Institute.
One of the standout areas where the SBDC provided crucial support was in helping Tamu begin the certification process for minority-owned businesses. These certifications are highly sought after, opening doors to opportunities with government agencies and private institutions. The assistance from the SBDC enabled Tamu to navigate the intricate application requirements, ensuring that the Equity and Wellness Institute met all the necessary criteria. These certifications not only elevate a business’s credibility but also position it to compete more effectively in securing contracts and partnerships.
A Vision of Change
Tamu’s journey with the SBDC began through the Dream Fund program, which required participants to establish a connection with the SBDC. The center’s no-cost support proved to be a valuable resource for Tamu. Although, the SBDC was more than just a source of advice; it laid the foundation for sustainable growth.
Tamu envisions expanding their services to reach a broader national and international audience. Her dedication to building a more equitable society radiates through every facet of her work.
To aspiring entrepreneurs, Tamu offers an empowering message: “You’ve got it in you already. You really just need to believe that it’s there. And you’ve got the support that can walk you along your journey along the way.”
The Equity and Wellness Institute’s remarkable success exemplifies the transformative impact of SBDC support on small businesses. Tamu’s unwavering commitment to her vision, coupled with the SBDC’s guidance and resources, has given rise to an organization making a profound difference in the world. The partnership between Tamu and the SBDC serves as a powerful testament to the potential of entrepreneurship and the role of organizations like the Sacramento Valley SBDC in nurturing dreams and fostering change.