Community Service Spotlight: Washington Opportunity Institute

Businessmen Tony Cord and Michel Daley co-founded a workforce development company called Washington Opportunity Institute (WOI) to give back to their community by offering free technical and soft skills training to Ward 7 and 8 residents, including unemployed youth, seniors, veterans and returning citizens.  

Here are some images from a recent class session:

On this day of class, students presented their answers to three questions: (1) What is your business idea? (2) Who or what is your competition? (3) How do you distinguish your business?

On this day of class, students presented their answers to three questions: (1) What is your business idea? (2) Who or what is your competition? (3) How do you distinguish your business?

Lots of big ideas.

Lots of big ideas.

This lady can cook, y'all. She already has her local barbershop circuit on lock, but she's looking to grow her catering business. She has a unique business model that, with some coaching from Tony and Michel, may take off in a big way. If I had her contact info, I'd put it here. You might want to reach out to WOI and ask to get in touch with the caterer. If you don't like to cook for yourself or you care for someone who can't cook for themselves, she has a healthy spin on the frozen TV dinner that you want to hear about.

This lady can cook, y'all. She already has her local barbershop circuit on lock, but she's looking to grow her catering business. She has a unique business model that, with some coaching from Tony and Michel, may take off in a big way. If I had her contact info, I'd put it here. You might want to reach out to WOI and ask to get in touch with the caterer. If you don't like to cook for yourself or you care for someone who can't cook for themselves, she has a healthy spin on the frozen TV dinner that you want to hear about.

This gentleman is looking to solve the problem of plastic waste.

This gentleman is looking to solve the problem of plastic waste.

Coach Tony doing what coaches do.

Coach Tony doing what coaches do.

If the name or the face is familiar, it's because he used to own Zanzibar.

If the name or the face is familiar, it's because he used to own Zanzibar.

My man is not playing when it comes to solving this plastic problem. If you scroll back through the images, you'll see this guy was dialed in the whole time.

My man is not playing when it comes to solving this plastic problem. If you scroll back through the images, you'll see this guy was dialed in the whole time.

I encourage you to reach out to the team at WOI and find out how you can contribute to their program. There's a huge need for this kind of entrepreneurial education in this part of DC. Maybe you can share a pearl of wisdom or make an introduction that will help one of these entrepreneurs move forward in their journey. Or, as in the case of the caterer / personal chef, you might find a business that solves a problem that you have.

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