EO Brooklyn Chapter open for business

The leadership of EO New York and the global Entrepreneur’s Organization has announced plans to launchEO Brooklyn, an offshoot of EO’s New York chapter.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce records 29,000 business owners in Brooklyn. The Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship reports that more than 500 new businesses have opened in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. It also predicts that these businesses will at least double their number of people employees over the next two years.

At first, the Entrepreneurs Organization hesitated to separate Brooklyn business leaders from the rest of New York City. Why split the largest resources when we’re marketing to the largest community? says Shep Sepaniak, the area director of EO Global for the mid-Atlantic coast.

We didn’t want to split the baby, he adds. But he went on to say that Brooklyn is a unique and distinct market. It’s a different demographic, there’s different kinds of businesses—there’s a different kind of entrepreneur.”

Manhattan entrepreneurs tend to focus more on professional services, while the entrepreneurs in Brooklyn maintain direct relationship with their products, sometimes handcrafting goods.

“Branding is the key driver,” Sepaniak says.

Sarah Endline is one entrepreneur who fits this brand perfectly. Endline is the founder ofsweetriotWhile Endline makes both creativity and social responsibility priorities in her business, the most important thing to her about EO Brooklyn isitsculture of supporting like-minded entrepreneurs.

Although EO Brooklyn will host networking huddles and learning events, members of the Brooklyn chapter will continue to attend EO New York events. In addition, EO New York serves the greater area including New Jersey, Westchester and Long Island. EO Brooklyn will have a moreurban focus.

The Kaufmann Index of Entrepreneurial Activity has reported entrepreneurship at record levels for the past four years. This burst has prompted several EO chapters, such as those in Dallas and Washington, D.C., to grow in the same way that EO Brooklyn plans to.

We’ll be able to create a chapter that’s different and more intimate, Endline says.\

Sepaniak hopes to recruit not only members of the New York chapter, but also Brooklyn entrepreneurs who aren’t yet members. One of the most valuable things about EO is the opportunity to learn from peers.

“How do we get these badass business owners?” Sepaniak asks. EO Brooklyn wants to include the owners of established businesses, especially those with a creative Brooklyn edge, ready to think outside the box and combine their entrepreneurship with innovation and socially responsible practices like environmental sustainability and fair trade sourcing. The leaders of EO Brooklyn hope to invite these new and forward-thinking entrepreneurs into its network.

“We hope to capture that organically,” he says. They’ll be hard to avoid in Brooklyn.

For more information or to join EO Brooklyn, visitwww.eobrooklyn.com

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