New mentor office hours to grow your creative project or business in Sacramento New mentor office hours to grow your creative project or business in Sacramento

Want to achieve financial independence, solve a problem, start a community project, or revitalize your community? We’re offering new mentoring office hours to help you make it happen.

As many undergo changes at work, maybe you’ve thought about starting a creative or service-type business, launching a community-based project, or pursuing a dream you never thought you could. 

Through office hours in partnership with the NorCal SBDC, our CEO Gina Lujan is offering one-on-one mentorship calls to help bring your passion to life, work on community projects, generate new revenue streams and create new creative or service-type businesses in our local economy.

By signing-up for office hours, you’ll also join a network of SBDC-affiliated professionals who can assist you with resources and mentorship to support your growth across a range of services including workshops, access to capital, advising and programs.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the highest number of businesses on record were created in the U.S. during the pandemic in 2020 — 4.4 million. By starting even a small, solo-preneur or side-business, you can radically change your life, follow your passions, take control of your lifestyle and add sustainable new revenue streams.

Gina is a social entrepreneur with 28 years of experience building businesses and community in our region, who can help you with starting a creative or service-type business, bootstrapping small businesses and DIY marketing, among other topics.

At Hacker Lab, she has helped boost Sacramento-area entrepreneurs and small businesses, helped generate new jobs, and supported local skill-building and economic development.

Participants can also meet with Dominique Poydras, CEO of Sisters Inspiring Sisters, who offers bookkeeping and other skills for starting small businesses. Read bios for both teachers here.
 
To begin the process, interested participants should start by: 

  1. Visit norcalsbdc.org/affiliates, scroll to the Hacker Lab section and click ‘Get started’. Then, follow the prompts and sign the 641 form before signing up for an intake appointment.

  2. Sign-up for an intake appointment with SBDC. You will be taken to a scheduling page for intake appointments while signing-up in the first step.

  3. After an initial one-on-one intake meeting, you’ll get a link to sign-up for one-on-one office hours, along with everything else you need to get started.

These office hours are available for free and no Hacker Lab membership is required.

Read more about our partnership with SBDC below, or explore classes or take a free tour to explore other services we offer.

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Press release: Making it official: SBDC and Hacker Lab partner to support entrepreneurs

Hacker Lab is partnering with the NorCal Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to support increased demand to support small business entrepreneurs amid the pandemic.

As a place of essential business for many small businesses in the Sacramento region, Hacker Lab’s team recognized the need for more 1-on-1 mentorship, professional photography and market booths as many small business owners start new businesses or pivot during COVID.

Hacker Lab CEO Gina Lujan is offering business mentorship office hours as part of the partnership. Participants can get started by visiting norcalsbdc.org/affiliates, scrolling to the Hacker Lab section, clicking ‘Get Started’ and following the prompts to sign the 641 form. Then, sign-up for an initial intake with SBDC to begin the process of office hours.

Lujan said the partnership will support individuals seeking to start small businesses and generate revenue for themselves and their families.

“The mission of Hacker Lab's Maker-to-Market program has been to support entrepreneurs in turning their passions into a sustainable income stream. We believe this is key to a strong local economy, especially after COVID-19,” said Lujan. “We have found that peer mentorship, hands-on training, and real-life experience are the most effective tools to expedite learning and catalyze local growth, support more resilient families and create opportunities.”

The partnership marks a key milestone in Maker-to-Market, a program Maker-in-Residence Michael Rottman of Maker’s Luck launched with Hacker Lab’s team in February, 2020. Over a year, Hacker Lab’s teachers and community served targeted entrepreneur training to nearly 600 attendees and helped over 80 Sacramento creative small business entrepreneurs launch businesses, sell at local markets, get professional photos and meet for office hours. 

They also sold 196 times at Hacker Lab-sponsored booths around Sacramento including farmers markets and other events.

Preet Ahluwalia, Affiliate Director of NorCal SBDC, said they would be seeking metrics showing new business starts, the number of clients, capital infusion and acquiring debt — which can even include loans from family and friends.

“SBDC represents small businesses. At the end of the day, we want to make an impact for entrepreneurs to go from A to B. Sometimes, it’s just helping get them off the ground”

“Creating is work and creating a steady income stream by selling what you make is even more challenging. Our supportive team and community at Hacker Lab helps small businesses overcome challenges facing them,” said Lujan. 

Ready to start your business? Participants can get started by visiting norcalsbdc.org/affiliates, scrolling to the Hacker Lab section, clicking ‘Get Started’ and following the prompts to sign the 641 form. Then, sign-up for an initial intake with SBDC to begin the process of office hours with Gina; or get access to Maker-to-Market and other Hacker Lab with a tour.

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