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Help Neighborhood Businesses Connect With Experts
Improve The Delivery of Technical Assistance to Boston's Neighborhood Businesses
The City of Boston's Office of Business Development seeks to improve the quality of business service delivery to neighborhood businesses. We will be selecting and partnering with one or several innovative organizations to improve delivery of business technical assistance to businesses in Boston. The chosen partner(s) will be offered the following:
- Recognition as a innovative business assistance solution
- Promotion through media and marketing channels for the partnership and your business assistance solution
- Access to business assistance providers and businesses to develop and deploy your solution in Boston
- Potential for funding to implement and scale your proven business assistance solution
WHAT BUSINESS ASSISTANCE ORGANIZATIONS NEEDBusiness Assistance organizations in Boston need to connect with and recruit a broad range of qualified volunteer and /or paid staff business assistance experts to help small businesses.
In addition, Business Assistance organizations that receive but are unable to fulfill an inquiry from a small business often lack a referral mechanism that ensures the business receives the specific resources and assistance they need.
OUR PROBLEM: SKILL BASED EXPERTS ARE HARD TO LOCATEIf business assistance organizations in Boston could efficiently connect with and recruit a broad range of qualified volunteer or paid staff business assistance experts and/or accurately refer clients they can't serve to other organizations that have the sought after volunteer or paid staff resources, then businesses would more effectively connect with the specific resources and assistance they need, and the quality of business service delivery would improve in Boston.
Qualified Volunteer Business Assistance Experts are Crucial but Hard to FindEconomic development and business assistance organizations in the City of Boston need to have access to a wide variety of business type and functional skill sets in order to serve the diverse needs of businesses. Since it is not practical to only staff this diverse skill set, these organizations are supported by volunteers in many cases to deliver the kind of highly specific assistance that is often needed to truly help a business.
Referral Networks among Business Assistance Organizations are Critical but not working wellIn addition, Business Assistance Organizations are largely dependent on referrals from other organizations to build awareness about the assistance that they are staffed to provide. Unfortunately, Business Assistance Organizations often do not know the full set of business experts that are available at other organizations in Boston, and therefore have difficulty in properly referring business for further or more targeted assistance.
Finding Targeted Business Experts for Assistance is a ChallengeOne of the main challenges for business assistance organizations is finding and retaining this diverse set of volunteers and paid staff experts and in collecting the right types of referrals from other organizations to leverage this skill base. This problem seems to be largely due to the lack of awareness around the active and inactive business assistance volunteers and full time business assistance experts in Boston. A lack of awareness around who the prospective skill based business assistance volunteers or paid staff are makes it difficult for organizations to proactively identify experts, and the lack of awareness around the active skill based volunteers and paid staff at other organizations makes it difficult to properly refer businesses to receive the best assistance available.
ASK: SEEKING A PARTNER IN CREATING CONNECTIONSWe want to engage with organzations that are capable of developing a solution that ensures business assistance organizations in Boston can identify and recruit volunteers available as a business technical assistance resources and Effectively refer small businesses to appropriate and relevant volunteer and paid staff business assistance experts at business assistance organizations across Boston
SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL FOR SOLVING THIS PROBLEMYou can submit your company following these simple steps:
- Read this page and decide whether this opportunity fits your need (use the "help" tab on your right to ask any questions you may have)
- Apply by clicking on the green button on the top-right of the screen
- Complete basic information about you and your business
- Complete A questionnaire of only 10 questions
- Save and submit your application
- Initial applications due 8/31/2012
- Semi-finalists announced on 9/12/2012
- Open pitch sessions - Location TBD - 10/04/2012
- Semi-finalist application closes 10/05/2012
- Finalists are announced on 10/26/2012
- Public event held in October