ROANOKE, Va. – Two Roanoke entrepreneurs are stepping into new roles to help advise other small business owners and the importance of representation is on the forefront for these new hires.
Kat Pascal and Macklyn Mosley are the new diverse Roanoke regional advisers with the Small Business Development Centers.
Mosley will help local minority entrepreneurs while Pascal assists Latino business owners. The roles are a historical first for Roanoke.
“I have an opportunity to be a face that looks like them,” Mosley said. “To be able to say hey we are here for you. Roanoke is here for you. We want to help you grow your business too because you are a part of Roanoke.”
There are more than 780,000 small businesses in Virginia, but only 25% of them are owned by “racial minorities,” according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
With Latinos facing a language barrier, Pascal’s bilingual skills can help bridge the gap.
“I speak Spanish. So being able to communicate with my Hispanic community in our language I think it continues to build that trust and build the excitement in their business,” Pascal said.
As a graphic designer, Mosley said he is ready to offer free help to any entrepreneur right at their doorstep.
“I’m here and I’m in regular clothes,” he said. “I’m meeting you where you are.”
As the owner of two burger restaurants, Pascal is ready to encourage others to reach their full potential.
“I love sharing my stories,” she said. “Why? Because I want people to connect with me and feel as if I am at the level of just being able to say hi or hola.”
If you want to seek help from the advisers, you can visit the Roanoke Regional SBDC website.
There, you can take a questionnaire to help match you with the best adviser. If you want Mosley or Pascal specifically, you can notify that on the questionnaire.