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Innovative Business Strategies for Small Business Owners

Massive layoffs have occurred due to COVID-19, meaning we will need a solution to retrain employees on a massive scale.

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Due to COVID-19 there has been an increase in layoffs and many people are unable to work. Small-Business Owners who were unable to adapt to the no-contact requirements will need to restart and adapt to these changes. They will need to train new employees and also learn to use new solutions themselves. We propose a solution to help facilitate this process. 

What is the need are you focusing on?

Massive Layoffs and Small Business Owners who are not working. 

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

We hope to provide solutions to small businesses struggling to adapt to no contact regulations brought by COVID-19 as well as prepare any business for the way they will onboard their employees once the majority of the workforce is allowed to go back to work.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Maybe-with additional support

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

By focusing on small businesses we will be able to start rebuilding what was affected by COVID-19. Being able to provide adequate resources will help small businesses adapt to the new ways of conducting day to day business after COVID-19.

What is the name of your business or organization?

We have considered ViQ Strategies as a business name. We are a team of three Virginia Commonwealth University Students. We are majoring in Product Innovation. Through our Capstone Project, we have learned a lot about employee training and expectation alignment. and plan to develop a business from what we have learned.

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

Halfway through our project COVID-19 began and so we adapted to learn how this would affect what we had learned. We learned Small Business Owners would need to retrain many of their employees and so we are considering Artificial Intelligence as a solution in combination with our skills as Product Innovators. We will provide training strategies and tools such as templates alongside our Artificial Intelligence assistant to small business owners in order to retrain employees.

What is your profession?

We are a team of three Virginia Commonwealth University Graduate Students. We are majoring in Product Innovation.

Where are you located (country)?

Richmond. Virginia

Where are you located (region)?

  • North America

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Academia/Research
  • Business/Consulting
  • Designer(UX/CX/Design Research)
  • Entrepreneur/Investor
  • Student
  • Technology

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • Less than 1 year old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Concept/I have not yet formed an organization

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Grants
  • Funding- Loans
  • Funding- Investment
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- NGOs
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Government
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Civil Society Groups
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Grassroots/Community Groups

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

We need help establishing relationships with companies that are willing to collaborate and rebuild their communities together.

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

The biggest barrier is COVID-19 and the ambiguity that comes from the fact that we are uncertain when we will reopen and return to the new "normal".

If you are currently working on a pivot, what have you learned so far?

Yes we began by exploring the general hiring experience but chose to focus on developing a solution that would help small businesses that were affected by COVID-19 get back on track.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

Yes, we are a part of a pre-accelerator at Virginia Commonwealth University. We are also looking at other efforts found here in Richmond, Virginia and beginning to share what we have learned.

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