The Independent Financial Small Biz Training Series 2021 was a 4-part, professional educational program created specifically for Dallas area entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The selected 23 participants were chosen from over 60 applicants, who met the exclusive criteria. The Series met virtually for 4 Saturdays in May and June 2021. Participants teamed with SCORE Dallas Mentors throughout the program to help with business growth planning and to prepare for a mock pitch competition. The mock pitch competition was held last.

To be considered as a participant, the applicants needed to meet the following:

  • In business for at least 1 year, with a business tax ID
  • Annual revenue of $1 million or under
  • Agree to attend 100% of the classes
  • Meet with their Dallas SCORE mentor at least once weekly

The courses presented: how to make a pitch; business growth plan; personal credit & money-budgeting; sales, branding, marketing & customer relations; business credit & banking; lending options panel; tax planning & reporting for small businesses; business financials & cash flow; web marketing, SEO & social media management.

The Series wrapped up on 6.12.21 with the final participants giving their mock pitch for business funding to 3 judges. The judges were: Farooq Wazirali, a Dallas SCORE mentor; Chris Smith, with PeopleFund; and Debbie Barnaby, with Independent Financial. Each participant had 4 minutes to give their pitch. The pitch information needed to include: an introduction, the solution or company value proposition, and financial projections, which included how much funding was being requested and why. The 3 judges had 2 minutes for each participant to ask questions.

Many thanks to Independent Financial for their support of this great event! A special thanks go to the Independent Financial EVP, Regional President, and SBA Business Line Manager, Tommy Forsythe. Tommy spearheaded the event & presented several finance courses during the series. He was a favorite speaker for his knowledge and interactive presentations. Learn more about Independent Financial from their website

Independent Financial awards:

  • One 1st prize of $3,000 plus laptop and printer: Sherri Doucette, with Dallas SCORE mentor Maury Purnel.
    • See below photo (bottom row): Maury Purnell, Sherri Doucette, Tommy Forsythe
  • Two runner-up prizes of $1500 for each participant: Jeanita Spikes, with mentor Meggie Woodruff. Dazore Bradford, with mentor Irene Krasnoff.
    • See below photos (top row): Tammy Jo Covert, Mary Cooley, Jeanita Spikes (gold dress), Tommy Forsythe; Tammy Jo Covert, Mary Cooley, Dazore Bradford (floral dress), Tommy Forsythe 
  • Honorable mention prizes of $500 each to 4 participants:  Simone Allen with mentor Ron Wichter. Ashley Asberry with mentor Damond Isiaka. Brittany Hines with mentor Larry Nelson. Trina Price with mentor Don Walter.

All Small Biz Training Series participants, business names & website addresses are alphabetically listed below:

  • Janette Madlock-Dent, Jus4Us Natural Hair and Skincare Care, 

Winners of the series Winners of the series Winners of the series

Independent Financial