Building something from nothing takes guts. It is risky. It is bold. It is not for the faint-hearted.
Being an entrepreneur is not always all it is cracked up to be. Very few people become a Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or an Elon Musk. Many fail, fail often, and often fail big. But there is something that nearly every entrepreneur has in common: a stubborn and relentless pursuit to never give up.
It is in this same spirit of entrepreneurial perseverance that the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) has launched a five-year strategic plan called Opportunity Cherokee. The plan creates Fresh Start Cherokee (FSC), an initiative of COED designed to encourage entrepreneurship and empower growth in Cherokee County. One of the inaugural launches of FSC is a new co-working space located at Chattahoochee Technical College’s Woodstock campus called The Circuit. The Circuit, set to launch early this year, is a 3,000-square-foot innovative space designed to pair as the college’s student center and co-working space for local business professionals and founders who will have access to office space, events, programming and a collaborative community of support.
I have been an entrepreneur and have had wins and losses. I have successfully launched, grown and sold a local business. I have also founded and led a tech startup that crashed and burned in six months. I have even led the marketing and growth strategy of TechSquare Labs in Midtown Atlanta, an innovative tech hub and investment firm. From these adventures I learned that local community is key to local success, and that having mentors can be the difference between success and failure. FSC, through The Circuit, will offer relevant programming, a network of mentors and a collaborative community to help Cherokee County entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses.
Also important is establishing a dynamic place where people want to live and work close to home. Nearly 80 percent of Cherokee County residents commute out of the county to work. I used to be part of that statistic; I was living in Cherokee County while working in Midtown. I wanted to be able to build an innovative community closer to home. FSC will seek to foster homegrown entrepreneurship in Cherokee County to build a strong community, grow the economy and create a more dynamic sense of place. I am honored to join the team to transform our local community and never give up. Will you join us? Click here to sign up for a tour.
By Jonathan Chambers, community manager of entrepreneurship for the Cherokee Office of Economic Development.