Small Business Spotlight: Located in Central City, trepwise Grows by Helping Others Grow
NOLABA connects New Orleanians with the support and resources they need to achieve economic prosperity. This includes providing information for small businesses like local resource providers and certification opportunities.
In our newest Small Business Spotlight, NOLABA interviewed trepwise CEO Kevin Wilkins to talk about how trepwise assists new & existing organizations with operations, financials, partnerships/organizational structure, strategic planning, scaling/growth, branding, and more. trepwise’s clients are a mix of organizations from virtually every industry, including: education, financial services, food & hospitality, technology, the arts, faith-based institutions, nonprofits and many more.
NOLABA: Tell us about trepwise and what makes it unique.
“trepwise was founded in 2013 with the mission of being a growth catalyst for entrepreneurial cities. Today, we are a robust advisory team with broad cross-functional knowledge. trepwise advisors are well-educated, passionate individuals with experience working with hundreds of organizations both in New Orleans and beyond. Our client portfolio is a mix of organizations, from the for-profit, non-profit and public sectors, from virtually every industry, including education, financial services, food & hospitality, technology, the arts, faith-based institutions and many more.
We’re located in Central City on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. trepwise is a for-profit, values-based, and mission-driven company. Our innovative approaches allow advisors to be entrepreneurial partners for our clients, providing practical and creative solutions that allow them to maximize their impact long after we complete an engagement. Prioritizing scalability and sustainability, trepwise works with organizations of all sizes, sectors, and industries to develop organizational capacity relating to: Marketing, Finance, Operations, Organizational Culture, Leadership Development, Governance, Strategic Planning, and impact measurement. As a result of the diverse nature of our work, the trepwise team has an unparalleled understanding of the breadth of challenges our clients are facing and are uniquely positioned to support their problem solving.”
NOLABA: What stands out to you most about New Orleans’ business climate? And what is the most underrated asset of the New Orleans business climate?
“I always say that entrepreneurship is in the oxygen in New Orleans. Post-Katrina, the number of start-ups in the city exploded, driven by both native New Orleanians looking to rebuild their city and an influx of diverse people coming from out of state who wanted to help. Almost 15 years later, organizations have been able to maintain that energy and continue to foster agile growth and innovation. That energy and commitment is truly outstanding and continue to make New Orleans a destination for civically engaged individuals.
Closely related, one of the most underrated assets of the New Orleans business climate are the number of socially conscious firms dedicated to making an impact and solving community issues. Growth companies doing social good, organizations collaborating with similarly aligned values and missions working towards similar outcomes – these are a huge value add to both our economy and our community.”
NOLABA: Tell us about your experience tapping into the New Orleans talent pool to hire at trepwise?
“We’ve built an amazing team at trepwise that is values and mission-oriented. The team has a diversity of skills, talents and backgrounds, drawing from great New Orleans talent and attracting some individuals who are new to the city. Our team is united in our commitment to making a difference in the region, our devotion to our clients, and our love for New Orleans. We take great joy in the variety of organizations with which we get to engage.”
NOLABA: What resources in New Orleans’ small business/entrepreneurial ecosystem have you utilized to help trepwise grow?
“We’ve mainly helped support the services in the ecosystem in terms of helping them help other entrepreneurs and ventures. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship where our organizations complement each other as we work toward the same goal. There are incredible local programs that help grow organizations from Idea Village to Propeller, and Good Work Network to Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses to name a few. We work along side with them as partners to help sustain the ecosystem growth and we continue to learn and grow from each other and these engagements. Now that our client portfolio has grown to its present size, we get to support mentorship relationships as well, whether its connecting clients with former clients, current clients, or one of our partners.”
NOLABA: What have been the keys to trepwise’s success so far?
“We are a mission-driven organization that strives to create great impact. We continue to help organizations focus on sustainable growth by setting goals, planning, and implementing. We have a really intelligent team that focuses on the quality of our execution of every engagement. We also continue to grow, learn and evolve as we support our clients. The trepwise team is continually inspired and motivated by their hard work and openness; we work diligently alongside them, and their success is our success.”
NOLABA: What is your pitch to a prospective client?
“Our firm is rooted in the belief that the key to a thriving city is inclusive innovation and organizational capacity building. We are committed to our client engagements, believing passionately in new ideas and directly supporting organizational leaders seeking to use market disruption to create more inclusive and equitable economies. By working with our clients to provide new and valuable services, together we can improve the quality of life in the communities where they exist.
The core of our work is to define goals, identify strategies, design processes, and implement tactics for growth and success. We meet clients where they are and work with them to solve problems and capitalize on opportunities. And we tie this impact to our overall goal of creating a thriving city.”
NOLABA: What are your goals for trepwise moving forward?
“We are very excited about the growth of our firm and the demand for our services. Our goal is to continue to support a diverse client base across non-profit, for-profit, and public sectors, allowing us to maximize our clients’ impact. We are continually developing strategies to reach more organizations both in and outside of New Orleans and supporting them in reaching their goals.”