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THE ACCELERATION PROJECT 2018 YEAR IN REVIEW

OUR MISSION is to support the vitality of local economies by providing strategic and tactical advice to accelerate small business growth; and to empower professional women to make a meaningful impact in the community while advancing their skills.

2018 HIGHLIGHTS

THIS WAS A YEAR OF TREMENDOUS GROWTH FOR THE ACCELERATION PROJECT...

We served clients in six states and over 30 different markets - 33% were minority-owned and 75% were women-owned small businesses.

We grew our team by 25%. We hired two additional employees and onboarded 24 new team members from across the tri-state area with broad experience in marketing, product management, strategic consulting, technology, communications and law.

We solidified partnerships with 3 top-tier organizations: JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and PNC.

We implemented 3 new technology platforms and markedly increased our efficiency: Salesforce, Teamwork and Zoom.

TAP was the recipient of the prestigious, national Daily Point of Light Award and was chosen as Nonprofit Westchester's Organizational Changemaker.

OUR WORK

STRATEGIC ADVISORY PROGRAM

Our signature offering, the Strategic Advisory Program, served over a dozen small businesses with varying areas of need throughout the tri-state area - clients cut across a wide variety of industries, and include manufacturers, service providers, retailers and businesses in the food service industry. Topics we advised on include marketing, financial management, inventory controls, customer communications and more!

The success of our work is measured by the satisfaction of our clients. Whether from an occupational therapist, a coworking space or a new restaurant, the feedback was consistent - our consultants are incredibly smart, experienced and relatable women who are so easy to work with. Here is what some of our clients had to say about working with us this year…

"TAP is a wonderful program. The TAP consultants took the initiative to network in the community on my behalf and compose valuable spreadsheets for my business operations"

"They are just lovely, down-to-earth, easy to talk to people. They were so encouraging throughout the process. They were patient and explained financial stuff over and over, and now when we talk about business structure and equity, we sound legit, even to each other, because we understand it."

"TAP certainly met our needs and I believe there are also many non-profits that are in a similar position to us that would ... greatly benefit from business consultancy since many struggle with even the most basic of business procedures."

"TAP has met all my needs as a small business. I'm very thankful to have had the opportunity to work with them."

TAP PROJECT

This year TAP embarked on phase 2 of the Analyze & Advance Project at the request of our partner, Community Capital. Funded by a grant from JP Morgan Chase Bank, we created a rubric that identifies the core competencies necessary for growing and sustaining businesses and establishes a mechanism to assess entrepreneurial skills in a variety of functional areas. The diagnostic tool is now being used to provide a consistent, comprehensive and measurable approach to assess key skill levels of small business owners and to inform the subsequent delivery of technical assistance. Going forward, it will also be used to enable technical assistance providers like TAP to track progress over time.

SPEED CONSULTING

Our Speed Consulting offering continues to appeal to Chambers of Commerce as a means to support their small businesses. This year, we partnered with the Armonk Chamber of Commerce to deliver high level strategic and tactical advice to 12 small businesses via our Speed Consulting events. During these workshops, TAP consultants facilitated discussions on branding and provided customized feedback and strategies for success for each participant. In addition to participating in the workshops, the small business owners appreciated the opportunity to meet, network and discuss opportunities with other entrepreneurs in their community.

"TAP consultants are very smart and provided fresh, helpful and insightful feedback."

"I received several very good ideas that I can immediately implement to help my business."

MINI ONE-ON-ONES

This year TAP launched a new product to meet the needs of our partner, JPMorgan Chase. We offered mini one-on-one consultations to their small business clients at their Chase for Business conferences in Atlanta, Austin and Detroit and in their Chase BizMobile in Philadelphia.

BUY LOCAL

TAP continues to support the Buy Local effort in Scarsdale, an innovative and collaborative initiative set in motion in 2014 with the goal of driving more customers to Scarsdale businesses and educating stakeholders on their role in enhancing the vibrancy of Scarsdale’s retail hubs. Our team conducted research, worked with landlords, brokers and current and potential tenants to address vacancies, revived community events and aided in the marketing and promotion of new stores, events and initiatives. The change was seen and heard throughout our community and we are so proud.

ADDRESSING VACANCIES

In 2018, TAP was instrumental in filling several vacant storefronts with some fabulous new merchants including Rudy's Music, where you can purchase guitars for beginners, professionals and collectors; Bango Bowls, where you can savor delicious poke and Acai bowls; Nordic Edge, where you can experience the invigorating and rejuvenating effects of cryotherapy; independent bookstore Bronx River Books that is successfully creating a community space that TAP's research indicated residents were clamoring for and Via Forno, a restaurant and wine bar serving brick oven pizza in a warm and welcoming setting.

In addition, the newly formed Scarsdale Business Alliance (SBA) that TAP was actively involved in creating has been enthusiastically contributing to the village's revitalization. Its mission is to foster cooperation and innovation in the local business community in order to create a more vibrant shopping and dining experience for all. In only a few short months, they have put together some terrific events and have more planned for 2019.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

In an effort to increase foot traffic and bring vitality to the Village, TAP helped organize and promote numerous community-building events including Rock the ‘Dale, Art the ‘Dale and Light the 'Dale. We're currently in the process of organizing our inaugural Wing the 'Dale, a Public Art and placemaking initiative that will place a "wings" public art mural, created by Scarsdale High School students, in the Village Center. With wing murals being a favorite of social media sharing, we're confident this effort will help provide a sense of community and increase foot traffic.

OUR TEAM

In 2018, we hired two additional paid employees. In addition, we recruited and trained 24 new team members with a wide range of skills and expertise. This growth improves our ability to offer advice and services to an increasingly diverse demographic.

Providing opportunities for our consultants to advance their skills is part of our mission. To that end, we offered training on Active Listening and Financial Statement Basics for Small Businesses. In addition to those skill-building opportunities, participation at various brainstorm sessions to share best-practices for client engagements, a focus group for one of our retail clients and networking and team-building events were available to our team. Three of our consultants made the transition back to paid employment this year, and while it may be bittersweet, it is a true measure of success for our model.

Clockwise from top left: TAP consultants enjoy a lunch and learn workshop; TAP consultants learning from each other's client engagements; COO, Tracy Jaffe, leading a training session for some of TAP's newest consultants; Team meeting on TAP marketing

OUR VISIBILITY

AWARDS

TAP's efforts to support local businesses have gained both national and local recognition. TAP CEO Jane Veron was named as a "Daily Point of Light" award recipient for her outstanding non-profit service work. The Daily Point of Light award is given each weekday by Points of Light, the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service which was founded in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush to recognize individuals creating meaningful change in their communities.

In addition, TAP was selected as the "Organizational Changemaker" in the inaugural Keep Westchester Thriving Awards, sponsored by Nonprofit Westchester. Honored for its efforts to "positively impact the community through innovation and creativity", TAP was singled out as a vital organization that provides dedicated, knowledgeable nonprofit leadership.

SELECT HEADLINES

Westchester Magazine: JPMorgan Just Invested in this Local Consultation Firm

Patch.com: Jane Veron named Daily Point of Light

Patch.com: Nonprofit Westchester Honors Leaders Leaders at Annual Meeting

Westchester County Business Journal: TAP Awarded $100,000 for Mentoring

FUNDING

TAP is primarily funded by contributions from private individuals, corporations, foundations, and grants. Donations are used to support the training, programming, and streamlined infrastructure to enable the enormous infusion of value back into the economy. As a non-profit, our clients are required to pay a nominal program fee. Our services would not be possible without the support of our donors.

Continued support is critical as we build out a staff to manage our growing business, secure flexible meeting space to accommodate our expanding team and invest in technology to help increase our efficiency and productivity.

OUR STATS

A look at TAP by the numbers since inception...

Client Development, Management and Satisfaction

  • Over 100 clients served through TAP’s high touch programs
  • 100s of businesses impacted through large scale TAP Projects
  • 75% of businesses served are women-owned
  • 33% of businesses served are minority-owned
  • 6 states and 30+ cities and towns benefited from TAP's service offerings
  • 100% of TAP clients would recommend TAP services to a friend or colleague

Talent Recruitment, Management and Satisfaction

  • 70 active team members
  • 3 consultants transitioned back to paid employment
  • 50-100 hours donated on average per project
  • 3 paid employees, 7 person management team
  • 100% of TAP consultants are satisfied with their TAP work
  • 90% of TAP consultants felt that working with TAP increased their confidence
  • Over 90% of TAP consultants who plan to re-enter the paid workforce considered TAP a bridge back

CONTACT

The Acceleration Project | P.O. Box 335 | Scarsdale, NY 10583

www.theaccelerationproject.org

info@theaccelerationproject.org

***The contents of this document are the property of The Acceleration Project, Inc. (“TAP”) and are provided on a confidential basis. The recipient agrees not to disclose the contents or forward without the prior permission of TAP. The contents of this document are provided on an “as is” basis and no representation or warranty is made in connection therewith. TAP and its affiliates, representatives and associates will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from or relating to this document.

Credits:

All photos are property of The Acceleration Project. 

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