International Women’s Day with Jov’An Benjamin

International Women’s Day with Jov’An Benjamin

A blog by Jov’An Benjamin, Women’s Business Center Program Director:

The theme for the National Women’s History Month in 2024 honors “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” This theme acknowledges women nationwide who recognize the necessity of eradicating bias and discrimination from our lives and institutions for a more positive future.

Hey Business Besties!

I’m thrilled to take on the role of Program Director at the Women’s Business Center in CommunityWorks. Our team is brimming with exciting plans for the future. As we approach the end of the first quarter, we already have two out of our three major trainings lined up: Business Sketch and Microentrepreneur training. Our goal is to link individuals with the necessary resources to establish successful and enduring businesses.

Born and raised in Rochester, New York, I relocated to the Greenville area in the summer of 2022 to establish my bakery business, Good Mood Treats. With a strong passion, talent, and ambition like many business owners, I eagerly seized the opportunity to transition my home-based bakery into a physical storefront. Embracing this new venture with enthusiasm and a plethora of ideas, I began my journey as a solopreneur, encountering various challenges along the way.

The demands of managing the bakery, social media platforms, websites, taxes, accounting, and more left me feeling fatigued and overwhelmed. Recognizing the need for a team to elevate Good Mood Treats, I hired a baking assistant and a sales associate. This strategic move streamlined operations, allowing me to delegate tasks and even take breaks to recharge or focus on administrative duties. With my team in place, I felt empowered and accomplished, embodying the essence of a successful entrepreneur at the helm of Good Mood Treats.

Towards the end of 2022, the environment at my workplace became toxic and oppressive, diverging from my values. Working at the food hall where my bakery was situated, I found myself at odds with the owners. As Good Mood Treats aims to advocate for mental health through bakery initiatives, my well-being suffered in that setting. Realizing this, I made the decision to move away from that location.

With the backing of my team and the partnerships I cultivated with local business owners, I found the courage to pivot and move forward. Although closing my business was a heartbreaking decision, I knew it was the right choice at that moment. Managing a business can be daunting but having a supportive team during challenging times can make all the difference. I am thankful for the partnerships I established and the customers I served over the last six years. Now equipped with valuable experience, I can guide entrepreneurs on overcoming tough business obstacles and creating a lasting enterprise.

I am currently hosting a monthly workshop called the Business Sketch. This workshop assists business owners by leading them through brainstorming sessions, business planning, budgeting, and accessing capital. The Women’s Business Center is the reliable team to connect you with the essential tools and resources for establishing a successful business. Stay tuned for our upcoming events and trainings by signing up for our newsletter.

Join us for a Mix + Mingle event on March 27th, where you can meet me and network with fellow business owners! Following the event, you are welcome to attend our Microentrepreneur Training session, where participants will present their business pitches to the class.

Today, my advice to women is to embrace opportunities, be bold, and embrace change! I discovered my strength through adaptation, and I urge all my business companions to continue pushing forward and expanding your businesses! Thank you for believing in me to guide our Women’s Business Center. Happy International Women’s Day!