Animated conversation, inquiring minds, and friendly smiles filled the corridor as people arrived for Atlanta Habitat’s Boss Talk event. The excitement in the room was buzzing as attendees snacked and shared business ideas while waiting for the event to officially begin. Boss Talk is the first event in Atlanta Habitat’s Launch! initiative. The second event, set for November 1, is the business competition at which Atlanta Habitat homeowners who have attended intensive business development workshops pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

Marc Parham, director of the entrepreneurship center for the Urban League of Atlanta, moderated the second annual event with humor and wit. “A lot of people ask me ‘What does it take to be an entrepreneur? What does it take to be a homeowner?’ First word that comes to my mind is fearlessness,” Marc expressed, igniting a strong start to Boss Talk.

Jameka H., winner of last year’s Launch! Business Competition, is a panelist and judge for the 2018 events. Her business idea, Nail Cloud, a mobile service for natural nails, garnered Jameka a $2,500 first-place award, along with equipment, further training and free legal and business advice for a year.  Many of the audience members were curious as to how she discovered her passion. “I had to do what was expected of me and find out who I really and truly was,” Jameka shared. Although she discovered her enthusiasm for natural nails early on, Jameka struggled figuring out how to brand herself in an industry dominated by acrylic nails. Nail Cloud is the result of that struggle.

 “Do it scared,” she said. “No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, there will always be a scary feeling of uncertainty or doubt when you push yourself past your comfort zone.”  Two other dynamic speakers included 11-Alive on-air personality Myra Sky and motivational speaker LaTarsha Holden, CEO of Three Elements.       

The Launch! Business Competition will be every bit as exciting and inspirational as Boss Talk, so sign up to attend. Who knows, maybe next year, it will be your business idea that launches your entrepreneurial dreams!