This initiative was started because research has shown, in Duval County, second stage businesses represent 13% of all companies, but they produce over one third of all jobs.
Historically, the Chamber has been very good at pursuing large headquartered companies with the Cornerstone division. Those efforts continue to remain important because many 2nd stage businesses provide services for these larger companies. However, the Chamber has realized more than ever, that 2nd stage business is the key to the growth and survival of our business community.
The SSBDI has launched 2 programs to date:
The CEONexus Forum is a program to bring area entrepreneurs together, in an intimate setting, with other entrepreneurs who have reached the pinnacle of success. These sessions are free, by invitation only, to leaders of 2nd Stage companies and held on a quarterly basis. We bring in a guest speaker that is a CEO of a3rd stage business. After 30 minutes of networking, the 3rd stage CEO tells their story and then we open the floor for direct questions. There is plenty to learn from a 3rd stage CEO.
The 2nd program is called Peerspectives, which is a CEO Peer Group. We gather 10-12 2nd Stage CEO’s in a group. They meet once a month and through shared experiences they troubleshoot the challenges of operating their business.
There is no better advice or feedback that you can obtain then from a Peer that has been there and done that.
I have been active in both programs since their inception and can state they have provide tremendous benefit to my business.