The NCGrowth-SmartUp program is tapping into highly skilled graduate students to work with local businesses and entrepreneurs on impactful economic development research projects.
In a previous article we announced that Substantial had been selected to join the NCGrowth-SmartUp program. As part of this program we get the pleasure of working with NCGrowth staff member Nicole Outlaw, SmartUp Program Manager and student analyst Jaelon Talley.
“It is the goal of NCGrowth-SmartUp to develop meaningful and impactful relationships with our clients and within the communities in which they thrive, said Nicole Outlaw, SmartUp Program Manager. “Our work is vitally important as small businesses make up 99.7 percent of employer firms in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration. The project work by our consulting analysts provide insight and resources that undoubtedly contribute to the growth and development of the small businesses and communities we serve.”
Here at Substantial we love working with the next generation of thought leaders and we jumped at the opportunity to team up with Jaelon to conduct research regarding the NC media landscape.
Jaelon Talley is a NC A&T graduate student and NCGrowth SmartUp Business Analyst. Jaelon is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at North Carolina A&T State University and is passionate about helping Black businesses grow.
Jaelon received his undergraduate degree from Delaware State University in Business Economics and prior to pursuing his masters degree, he worked as a Business Technology Analyst in Atlanta, GA.
“Working in Atlanta was my first experience in the corporate world and gave me a very solid foundation of both soft and technical skills,” said Jaelon. “I’m excited to work with Substantial through the NCGrowth-SmartUp program. The purpose of the program is to provide consulting services and resources to local businesses like Substantials and that’s what we plan to do through our project.”
WATCH: President & CEO Greg Hedgepeth sits down with NCGrowth SmartUp Business Analyst Jaelon Talley on the campus of NC A&T State University. (Click and view via YouTube https://youtu.be/xFwVP4MY5oE)
“There was no way we would pass up the opportunity to be a part of the NCGrowth-SmartUp program and work with Jaelon to better understand our market potential,” said Greg Hedgepeth, President & CEO of Substantial Media LLC. “Jaelon not only brings his knowledge and expertise to our SmartUp project, he also brings his own passion and commitment to empowering, educating and serving our community. That’s exactly what we need to find unique ways to be of value to our audience.”
While working with Substantial, Jaelon will gather research regarding media companies across North Carolina as well as financial and demographic data of the states minority populations.
Jaelon’s project will focus on using a data-centered approach to make strategic decisions and form strategic partnerships. We will also look to use data findings to further understand the economic environment and assess untapped market potential across NC.
The ultimate goal is to assess and make the case for why North Carolina’s Black media outlets are valuable investments and showcase the true buying power of our minority audiences.
Substantial is a “SmartUp” and we’re learning everything we can about our industry and audience to better serve our community. Stay tuned!
About NCGrowth and SmartUp
NCGrowth & SmartUp are initiatives that help businesses and communities create good jobs and equitable opportunities through applied research and technical assistance. In partnership with other universities and community organizations, we provide technical assistance to businesses and governments on economic development and entrepreneurship projects. Since 2012 we have helped to create over 400 jobs and worked with more than 70 clients. To learn more, please visit our website. NCGrowth.unc.edu