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Iris Jones

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I have attended the TechTown EBiz conference in August and have attended Lunch and Learn programs sponsored by TechTown as well. In addition, I have hosted my first workshop on "How to Influence Others Through Effective Communications."

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
My first customer was a law firm located in the greater DC area. They found me through word of mouth. The firm was seeking to retain an experienced consultant to assist them in developing a strategic business plan to aide in a marketing and business strategy to increase business opportunities and revenue generation.

Where did you find your first employee?
My IT manager was the first employee hired. She was recommended by my sister, who retained this person in the past and highly recommended her.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
My plans to launch this new business spans more than four years of planning and saving. Up to this point I have invested my own capital into my business venture and was blessed with several excellent paying clients immediately after launching Alchemy Business Strategies.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
The advantages of doing business in Detroit are endless. However, at the top of the list of reasons are:
- After recently moving here from New York City, it has been quite easy and relatively inexpensive to set up an office, find eager employees and build a new client base in less than five months.
- Training opportunities and networking meetings are plentiful here.
- Everyone I have met is working enthusiastically to help Detroit become the best city that it can be and the energy is contagious for any new start-up company that seeks to ride the wave and be a part of something truly vibrant and accessible to all.
- Doing business in Detroit provides close proximity to a stellar airport, affording direct access to the East Coast, West Coast and abroad.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
I would like change how some perceive Detroit and still choose to criticize instead of finding ways to make this city great again, one citizen at a time. There is so much to do and as the African Proverbs states: "It Takes a Village..." It will take every single one of us to raise Detroit's profile, create new jobs, acquire new skills to improve the economic condition of this great city of ours. Go Detroit!

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