5 Pathway WBC Entrepreneurs Share Their Experience & Their Advice

What Nashville entrepreneurs learned at Pathway WBC

 Since launching our cohort model earlier this year, Pathway WBC has graduated more than 20 local entrepreneurs from all industries and stages of business. As we gear up for our final flights of our Discover and Embark Cohorts this fall, we invited five of our most recent Embark Cohort graduates to share their experience in the program.

Here’s the experience and advice from 5 small business owners and graduates of the Embark 3 Cohort:

Mary Ellen Peden, Mothers WoodshopMary Ellen Peden, Mothers Woodshop

After going through the Embark Cohort, I have a much better understanding of how to pitch my business and share relevant information with potential customers and investors. The most important lesson I learned is the importance of seeking outside counsel to narrow my priorities as an entrepreneur.

I have felt very supported and individually seen by Pathway, which is exactly what I needed! My advice to the next cohort is to ask questions! Take notes and come prepared; there is a lot to gain from the course overall.


Shemicka Adams, H.O.P.E ownerShemicka Adams, Home of Potential and Excellence (H.O.P.E)

Since week 1 of the Embark Cohort, Home of Potential and Excellence has realized it is best to strive to achieve our vision in phases. My biggest takeaway is to give myself permission as an entrepreneur to focus on one goal at a time and realize my vision in stages.

For example, since week 1 of the cohort, I’ve registered H.O.P.E. as a nonprofit organization, completed my business plan, and established my revenue stream – the financial portion of this program was invaluable!

The advice I would give to the next Pathway Cohort is to focus on one specific goal at a time, and build from there instead of trying to tackle your entire vision at once.


Julia Dyer, owner of Nashville AllianceJulia Dyer, Nashville Fashion Alliance

My biggest takeaway from Embark is that you’re not alone! Pathway WBC is an incredibly supportive environment that helped me turn my idea into an actual business plan.

It was also really cool to have Clint Gwin in the room on pitch night. Having the CEO listen to our pitches and give feedback just shows how committed the whole Pathway team is to educating entrepreneurs.


Trevor Burbank, owner of Refinery NashvilleTrevor Burbank, Refinery Nashville

Pathway WBC is a great resource in the Nashville community. They can help entrepreneurs at every stage navigate all the challenges growing business owners face, and if they don’t have the solution, they’ll point you in the right direction. My advice to the next cohort is to open your business model up for criticism, and learn about the solutions other owners are using to grow their business.

Joining the Embark Cohort reminded me how important it is to step outside the daily running of the business to work on my business alongside other owners in similar positions.


Shelly Kacki, owner of Beech Grove Historic VenueShelly Kacki, Beech Grove Historic Venue

Through the Embark Cohort, my ideas have evolved as I simplify and clarify my message in this market. It was incredible to look at all the business details under a microscope and see how different decisions affect the business as we plugged everything into LivePlan.

Pathway WBC creates this quality support system for encouragement and healthy feedback to keep me focused and moving forward. Staying accountable and committed to this business we’ve started is important to me and my family, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with Pathway!

Want to learn more about the mentoring, small business education and entrepreneur coaching we offer at Pathway WBC?

Come to an upcoming Blue Sky workshop to getarted! We’re proud to offer a supportive and inclusive environment for small business owners in Middle Tennessee.

Pathway WBC is offering one more flight of our Embark Cohort in 2017 – email us if you are interested in joining Embark 4, starting early October, 2017.