Apr 16, 2013

OGS  Telecom  Credits  the  African  American  Business  Development Program at the Urban  League  of  Greater  Cincinnati  for  Business  Growth  

This article is reprinted from the National Urban League March newsletter--In the Black

The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati devotes a segment of its Annual Meeting to highlight League programs  and  participants.  The past two years, graduates from the Economic Empowerment Center’s  African American Business Development  Program  (AABDP) has been featured speakers during  the  event.  
AABDP is a highly selective six-month program designed for African Americans business owners who want to build sustainable companies that help to create employment opportuniies for  the community.  The  representative from the Alumni Group this year was Osford Ogis, President  & CEO of OCG Telecom. His comments to a  audience of 625 individuals and companies are as follows:

OCG  Telecom  sells  IT  and  Telecom  Equipment  and  Software  like  Cisco,  HP,  Dell,  and Microsoft  to  Federal,  State  and  Local  government  customers.  In  November  2009,  OCG Telecom  entered  the  Urban  League’s  African  American  Business  Development Program (AABDP)  as  a  start-­‐up  with  less  than  one  (1)  year  in  business  and  annual  revenues  of  less than  $5,000.  Since  participation  in  the  Program,  annual  sales  have  increased  to  $  141,000  in 2010,  $  441,000  in 2011  and  $  920,000  in  2012.

The  Urban  League  has  been  critical  to  our  success.    I  started  the  business  with  12  years management experience  at  a  Fortune  100  company  but  no  experience  managing  a  startup.   The  AABDP  program provided  me  with  very  practical  training  on  every  aspect  of  running  a  small  business  from,  marketing and  operations  to  accounting  and  finance.
After  graduating  from  the  AABDP,  we  worked  with  our  SBDC  business  coach  Sheila  Mixon to  develop  a  Strategic  Plan,  a  Business  Plan,  and  to  refine  the  marketing  materials  for  our business.    Moreover,  we meet  with  Ms.  Mixon  monthly  to  ensure  that  we  are  on  track  to meet  our  goals.  Ms.  Mixon  has  also given  me  the  opportunity  to  present  my  company  to  the Minority  Business  Accelerator  (MBA)  with hopes  of  becoming  part  of  the  MBA  Portfolio.  
As  we  grew  and  identified  the  need  for  an  additional  employee,  Ms.  Mixon  suggested  we interview  a graduate  of  the  Urban  League’s  ACE  program.  We  hired  the  Urban  League ACE program  graduate  and she  has  been  a  great  addition  to  our  staff,  generating  significant  new business  for  the  company  within months  of  being  hired.  When  we  hire  again,  the  Urban League  will  be  the  first  place  we  look.  
Ms.  Mixon  has  helped  promote  our  company  by  nominating  us  for  posting  on  the  Ohio Secretary  of  State  Business  profile  web  site  and  nomination  for  the  African  American Chamber  Small  Business  Award.  This  promotion  has  helped  with  our  rapid  growth.  Finally, we  attend  a  monthly  AABDP  alumni  meeting  where  we  continue  to  learn  from  experienced
successful  businessmen  like  Steve  Hightower  and  Greg  Battle  to  name  a  few.    In  additionwe share  ideas, give  advice  and  provide  moral  support  to  our  fellow  AABDP  Alumni.