local female entrepreneur chats biz with POTUS, cabinet

Rachel Talton, Ph.D. was one of the entrepreneurs invited by the Obama Administration to attend Tuesday's Winning the Future Forum on Small Business. Talton, co-founder of Cleveland-based Trust, a marketing and management consultant agency, and founder and CEO of Fairlawn-based Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research, joined about 20 other small business owners and entrepreneurs in a discussion on entrepreneurism. They had the ear of President Obama himself, who took the time to listen in on various breakout sessions during the forum.

"President Obama was very engaged in intensive and substantive conversation," says Talton. She and her fellow entrepreneurs in the group shared with the President a list of ways that the administration could help both small and large businesses thrive: access to capital, formalized mentorship programs, access to capacity-building services and less onerous processes for doing business with the federal government.

Talton says she was encouraged to hear that Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and a career entrepreneur, will be taking a lead role in President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. "The initiative will be quasi-government. Decisions will be made more quickly -- without much red tape," she says.

Talton was also happy to hear that Obama expects to engage large corporations in mentor-protegee programs. "I think this approach can be truly sustainable," she notes.

The President's "real commitment on this issue [of spurring small business growth to strengthen the economy] can move people within the federal and state government, even those who disagree," Talton says. "He can also attract large corporations to participate, for the greater good and for their own good."

SOURCE: Rachel Talton, Ph.D.
WRITER: Diane DiPiero

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