Square’s Erin Archuleta Talks Economic Empowerment for Small Businesses
Erin Archuleta, Awareness Initiatives Leader at Square, came to New Orleans this week to lead programming before and during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) to educate small business owners on the tools that help their businesses thrive. An important part of NOLABA’s everyday work is to connect small businesses to the resources they need to grow and expand their ventures, so NOLABA asked Archuleta about her experiences and advice for business owners:
NOLABA: What is the biggest challenge you see small business owners facing as they work to grow?
“Business owners need access to tools and capital to support their growth. At Square, we focus on creating an ecosystem that helps our sellers reclaim their time, make informed decisions, and grow their capacity.”
NOLABA: In your small business experience, what would you say are the most crucial resources in the small business ecosystem that have helped you grow and thrive?
“Collaborating with other small business owners has been my most essential resource. Hearing stories from seasoned entrepreneurs and taking advantage of counseling services with experts at the Small Business Administration, SCORE, and my local merchant groups have been essential. The ability to anticipate changes in the business landscape, and to learn from other entrepreneurs’ growth has fueled my own.”
NOLABA: Tell me about Square and the impact it has on small businesses.
“At Square, our purpose is Economic Empowerment. These two words exemplify the fundamental belief that underlies all of our work: that everyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy. We seek to empower people with access to the right tools, so they can shorten the distance between having an idea and making a living from it — whether that’s empowering the electrician to send invoices, setting up the food truck with a delivery option, helping the clothing boutique pay its employees, or giving the coffee chain capital for a second, third and fourth location.”
NOLABA: About New Orleans in particular, what have you seen/heard about the city’s small business ecosystem that A) should definitely be improved and B) are the biggest assets?
“Convening with the unbelievable resources in your community, like the programs at the New Orleans Business Alliance, and programs with the Small Business Administration District Office, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, incubators like Propeller, and counseling services like the Urban League give local entrepreneurs access to the tools and resources they need to thrive. Plus, NOEW is a world-class event with the ability to learn, network and share — I’ll be inspired all year long just by the two weeks I’ve spent here in New Orleans with the business community!”
NOLABA: What advice do you have for other small business owners or aspiring business owners?
“Business plan with a trusted advisor. Tap into the free resources like the Small Business Administration District Office, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce and their collaborating partners. These organizations are built and supported to grow the small business community, and they will be your biggest advocates and strongest resources. Also, be sure to set yourself up with the right business tools and make technology work for you to succeed.”