YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose stopped in Youngstown on Friday for a meeting about the Youngstown Business Incubator’s Women and Youth Leadership Program.
The roundtable consisted of talking with the youth and women entrepreneurs about their barriers, successes and progress right here in the Buckeye State.
LaRose said 171,000 new businesses were started in the last year in Ohio.
He said it takes courage for people to step up in the midst of all this uncertainty, so he is trying to get a bill passed that will make it easier for minority business owners to get their MBE certification.
“When entrepreneurs are spending their time filling out forms and paying fees, that’s time they’re not spending on making shea butter, making cookies or making bracelets to sell to their clients,” LaRose said.
One of those young entrepreneurs is 8-year-old Anya Rose Reynolds. She is the owner of “A. Rose Shea Butter Company,” which sells shea butters and lotions with essential oils. She started it when she was 6.
“It’s good to have my business so I could have money to buy new things for my family and myself,” Reynolds said.
Her mom and dad are also entrepreneurs and they said it was important for them to teach her money management at a young age.
“We have a logo, a company name, so she’s in full swing entrepreneurship and it’s very important to us as her parents,” said Tanisha Wheeler, Reynolds’ mom.
Program Director Stephanie Gilchrist said the possibilities of teaching entrepreneurship to the youth are endless. They can play key roles in the community.
“Then we talk about our students and our youth leaving our community. This is a great way to keep them here at home, in Youngstown, and grow our city to what we used to know it to be,” Gilchrist said.
The program’s next goal is to help the youth get internships this summer and eventually get a space where they can display their products.