National Chamber and Wells Fargo Select North Texas LGBT Chamber for Innovative New TGX Program
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
Wells Fargo and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce selected the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce to produce programming specifically designed for the transgender and gender nonconforming – TGX – business communities. Planned programs include Pitch Your TGX Business for Success workshops and the TGX Pitch program.
Transgender, non-binary and gender biased business owners can attend workshops to perfect their business presentation. As part of the workshop, participants can apply for LGBT Business Enterprise certification free of charge. Certification allows them to apply for loans and grants as a minority-owned business to seek customers.
The Pitch program brings together TGX business owners and company representatives for a mock pitch event to give business owners the opportunity to receive constructive feedback from senior executives on how best to present their company
Tony Vedda, President and CEO of the North Texas LGBT Chamber, explained the importance of the pitch: “One should always have something ready,” he said. “You should always have some basic information about your business and why you are preferable to your competitors.”
Have something ready, he explained, because you never know when you may meet someone who can fund your business or enlist your services.
Vedda said one of the most important things is a strong opening; say something that gets the listener’s attention. The mistake too many business people make is not saying anything before someone asks for information.
How a company differs from others is important in attracting customers, he added. “Being able to tell someone why you’re better than the guy down the street,” Vedda said.
And, he said, make sure those reasons are relevant. “You say you’re the eldest, but why is that good for me?” he gave as an example. Explain that some of the customers you’ve dealt with give your company the experience you need to do a good job.
Vedda said business owners should have little nuggets ready to share about their business that set them apart and make them the best choice. Finally, he said it’s a good idea to have a capability statement, a one-page company resume that includes all the contact information a client would need about the company’s activities.
Vedda said the first workshop will be held on November 2 and will be hosted by the City of Dallas Office of Small Business.
The audience of the presentations come from the corporate world. And although everyone has a very specific and narrow area that they oversee in their business – Vedda gave the example of a person who does nothing but manage beverages for an airline – they know who to bring up.
And recommendations can be powerful.
But first, Vedda said, the pitch should be perfected.
“We are excited to work closely with our affiliated chamber partners to create a new generation of inspiring, game-changing role models for future TGX leaders,” said Justin Nelson, co-founder and president of the national chamber.
“Wells Fargo is proud to expand our support for the transgender and gender-expansive small business community in partnership with LGBTQ chambers across the country,” said Wells Fargo’s Roby Schapira, director of diverse customer segments for small businesses.
Wells Fargo celebrates 30 years of working with the LGBTQ community. During that time, Schapira says, the bank has provided more than $55 million in financial support to LGBTQ organizations.
Wells Fargo will fund the North Texas LGBT Chamber’s efforts to provide services to the TGX business community throughout the DFW area and will pay for chamber membership and LGBTBE certification for businesses participating in the program.
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce has 53 local affiliates. It is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses.
The North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the largest LGBT business organization in Texas with more than 350 business and organizational members from across the region. Within Texas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio also have LGBT Chambers of Commerce.
To participate in the November 2 workshop or future events related to this program, contact the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce at 214-821-4528 or email [email protected]