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Thanks to Lessons Learned from ICCC Memphis, Dr. Joe Greer is a Step Closer to Fulfilling Dream

Classroom seminar teaches how to grow business and to improve the pitch for raising capital.

AUG. 15, 2014 - Dr. Joe Greer first began practicing dentistry 35 years ago. Eleven years ago, he opened The Good Health Institute, which provides multi-faceted healthcare in inner-city Memphis, Tenn.

Greer has a proven track record in medicine and ample experience as a small business owner. But to expand his business, he came to the University of Memphis Thursday seeking help.

Steven Rogers, Harvard Business School professor, challenges ICCC Memphis participants during a classroom session.“I came here to learn more about sources of financing and to study the structure of the deal,” Greer said during a break at the Inner City Capital Connections’ Increasing Access to Capital seminar.

Known as ICCC Memphis, the seminar brought together small business owners from across the Mid-South and Midwest to take part in classroom lectures and roundtable discussions geared at growing business and helping improve the pitch for raising capital.

Regions is an active participant in ICCC Memphis and helped sponsor the event along with Butler Snow, the Memphis Chamber of Commerce and the University of Memphis.

Greer’s dream is almost within his gasp: he wants to provide a multi-healthcare facility called Neighborhood Docs in the same Memphis location. But first, he needs a loan to expand into the adjacent office building and hire additional doctors and nurses. After talking with bankers and private and community lenders, he believes his dream is on the verge of being realized.

“By doing this, we’ll have a healthcare facility in the inner-city providing specialty care,” Greer said. “Now that I’ve learned there are other sources of funding, I feel confident we’ll get it done.”

David May, Regions West Tennessee Area President, has played a key role in ICCC Memphis’ growth in the Mid-South. He welcomed participants at the start of the day-long seminar.

“For the companies that signed up today, this is the beginning of a new journey,” May said. “You will be empowered today.”

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce senior vice president of community development Dexter Muller also welcomed participants.

Harvard Business School Professor Steven Rogers led a two-hour classroom session on “Getting Ready for Capital,” offering case studies and ongoing question-and-answer exchanges based on the Socrates Method used at the Ivy League school.

“You need to be a learned entrepreneur,” Rogers said. “For the rest of your life, embrace continuing education.”

That’s exactly what brought Brooke Battle to ICCC Memphis from her home in Birmingham, Ala. Eighteen months ago, Battle created SMART Party, a software tool that enables nonprofits to increase event revenue by putting a peer-to-peer fundraising tool in the hands of every guest.

Battle got the idea for her business as a volunteer for a Birmingham nonprofit, seeing the need for nonprofits to reach new donors.

She said the ICCC Memphis seminar allowed her to glean new ideas and seek solutions to problems. She said the data she learned that she needs to raise capital for expansion or to grow her business was a revelation.

“I’m thankful for Regions’ involvement,” she said. “I’m a Regions customer, and they’ve been amazing to my business, my family and to nonprofits I’ve worked with. Regions is a difference maker.”

(Pictured: Steven Rogers, Harvard Business School professor, challenges ICCC Memphis participants during a classroom session. Photo by Gary Tramontina.)

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