Saturday, March 15, 2014

Black Women and Business Ownership-A Dream Deferred: Rachel Dolcine Interview

I tell you our Gathering topics get better and better by the year. As you know our mission is to uplift, motivate and empower women of color to reach their highest potential. What better way to empower women than by providing her with the resources to start her own business. Sometimes all we need is just a leg up. We are excited to share with you the interview with Rachel Dolcine of Compass Consulting and Training Solutions.  I think her company’s name says it all. She has a wealth of knowledge that’s insane and to top it all off she’s so very passionate about helping others start and run successful business. If you haven't RSVP'd to attend BOND's Friday,  March 21st Gathering "Minding Your Own Business" you still have time.

BOND Girl: Thank you Rachel for joining us. Please tell us a little bit about you and why you are so passionate about this topic?
Photographer- Jazzy Studios of Baltimore
Rachel Dolcine: I started my business Compass Training Solutions in 2010. After a year or two of doing small consultation contracts, I realized that there was a need for affordable and comprehensive consulting services, especially for nonprofits and start up businesses. 

When I started my business, I searched around for help. The price quotes I got were discouraging. Don't get me wrong, there should certainly be a cost for providing services to anyone. However, startup businesses and nonprofits don't always have the initial capital to invest hundreds of dollars in getting help. Does this make them less deserving of the best?
Last year, I was listening to an interview given by a Google employee. He said that (paraphrase) "if your intent is to make money, you may or may not succeed. If your intent is to make a difference in the world, the money will find you". This sums up my business model. With a foundation of service and enacting change, I don't spend most of my time planning how I will make my next dollar.  I spend my time developing services that will make a difference in the businesses of my clients.

My passion for small business and nonprofit development stems from my belief that I am called to serve. This does not imply that I work for free or don't make sound financial decisions. What my calling means for my business is that I take my focus off how I can make the most money and focus on how I can make the greatest difference.
I am also passionate about women. A majority of my extensive volunteer history has been spent working with organizations that provided services and resources to women. So I decided to add on consulting to my business product list and name.

BOND Girl: At a time and day as we're living in now, how significant is it for women of color to start and run their own businesses or organizations?   Are there any drawbacks?
Rachel Dolcine: It is so important for women of color to start her own business. We are the biggest consumers across various industries yet own a minuscule percentage of the income earned from our own dollars.  Business ownership is not a new concept for our women. From past generations until now, many cultures include women in the marketplace selling items raised or created by their own hands.  History is full of accomplished women of color business owners.

Photographer- Jazzy Studios
of Baltimore
According to a 2008 report by the Center for Women's Business Research titled, Businesses Owned by Women of Color Growing Faster Than All U.S. Firms,  "[businesses] owned by women of color provide 1.7 million jobs and generate $235 billion in revenue in 2008" (  Center for American Progress further concludes that "businesses owned by women of color play a critical role in the current market place through job creation and added innovation in a way that they never have before.  Today women of color own more and earn more than any other time in history and the projections show that this will continue to grow" (
The setbacks are the usual suspects- inequality in the marketplace, sexism and racism.  According to American Progress, “[yet] while women, particularly women of color, have proven themselves to be successful businesswomen, barriers to their economic empowerment continue to exist. Although women of color started companies at three times the rate of other women, their revenue was less than 25% of white men." Additionally, women of color face other challenges such as single parenthood, many of us living below the poverty line and head of household stresses.  These are challenges that prove most discouraging and daunting for a woman who dreams if owning her own business.

BOND Girl: Who do you think should attend and who could really benefit from this type of Gathering?
Rachel Dolcine: Any woman who wants to or is ready to start her own business or nonprofit but is fearful, nervous, unsure, excited or determined. Any woman who may own a business but need a boost of confidence,  a support system or networking opportunity.

BOND Girl: We often hear that black owned businesses are suffering? What do you think maybe the cause and what advice would you give to improve it?
Rachel Dolcine: Based on the statistics noted above, I wouldn't say the black owned businesses are suffering as an overall statement. There are certain minority owned, not just black, businesses that are suffering because of unstable strategic planning, lack of commitment,  lack of ethics, poor customer service, weak product,  poor financial planning...just to name a few.  An improvement plan for these businesses must include a comprehensive strategic look at their business by an experienced consultant. A consultant can assist with developing a business improvement plan, which in reality may be plans to close shop.

BOND Girl: What do you think are the main reasons women haven't taken that big leap of faith?
Rachel Dolcine: One reason-FEAR. Fear maims, cripples and kills dreams and potential.

BOND Girl: Rachel, if you could set the stage for the "Minding Your Own Business". 

What should our guest expect for that evening? What kind of topics do you expect that our guests will hear March 21st?

Rachel Dolcine: The evening will be spent exploring fears women have about starting a business, pitfalls to avoid, stories and lots and lots of answering of questions! I'm attending to have a conversation with my sisters and be a resource.

BOND Girl: Are there any other thought's you'd like to share with our readers?

Rachel Dolcine: Your next step may be a leap of faith.  Are you ready to take it? I will meet you on the other side. You will survive the leap.


To read Rachel Dolcine’s full bio, CLICK HERE. Come see Rachel in action March 21st 2014. For more information and to RSVP for the March Gathering, “Minding Your Own Business” CLICK HERE. Please grab your seat now as the price will increase at the door.

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