The Community Lives On

July 30, 2021

A Reflection of CIC during the Pandemic by Shannon D. Beach, Director of Programs

This time last year we embarked on a major pivot for our signature 16 Week Entrepreneur Workshop – we successfully completed our first Zoom-related workshop for the Spring 2020 session. Many people do not realize that this session actually started out in-person in its first month in February 2020, while setting the foundation of what the workshop is known for!  

By April 2020, as we all know, things got increasingly difficult for the world. Nevertheless, more true for small business owners and inspiring ones. As far as the workshop, the beginning of the pivot started to happen. As true to many things that the CIC organization stands for, a community of support was needed. It was the honesty of those who could no longer stick with the workshop to attend to the many needs of adulthood, it was the workgroup leaders and discussion leaders who decided that they would still stay on and witness the experiment of us transitioning online for the first time.

We dealt with the increased racial tension in order to create a common dialogue and took a stance as an organization that CIC is still a community that recognizes that Black Lives Matter. And at the end of the workshop, we realized that there is still a spark for entrepreneurship.
Words cannot express enough how thankful we are that the Fall 2020 Workshop set a tremendous stage for us to grow!

As the baton passed on to the Fall 2020 Workshop, the challenge then became  “How to make CIC feel like CIC via Zoom again?” What we did learn is that in spite of being online, being in the same space as other entrepreneurs worked. So we tightened up and eventually figured out that we could execute the workshop at its value. It even opened up the doors for participants where online actually worked better; hence increasing our network.

The motivation to challenge themselves in a still uncertain time was a staple of the Fall 2020 Workshop and more and more, we saw the entrepreneurial spirit that was key in continuing to function the workshop virtually. By then, we hit our stride again!

Now we are celebrating the Spring 2021 Workshop! When we started this workshop, there was the desire to start to challenge the assumption that we can start looking forward to where we can interact and our business doors open up again. And from what we are seeing, this has been slowly happening!

We are pleased to also announce that the Spring 2021 Workshop will mark CIC’s 20th workshop!

Through it all, we cannot help but be grateful to know that maybe this actually works! We are in the midst of starting our Fall 2021 Workshop back in person and as an organization, we are close to being back to business in person.

Thank you for allowing me to take you on this brief journey. And to all the past and present CIC Alum, let’s get to work!

Shannon D. Beach, Director of Programs

“Easy is not an option!” ~ Les Brown