There is no limit to the amount of wealth one can amass, and serial entrepreneur and innovator Dawn Dickson Akpoghene is a true testament to this statement.
The tech-whiz recently launched PopShop Local, a progressive and contactless retail experience that uses unused spaces in airports, hotels, and convention centers.
As a prominent woman in the tech industry and a finalist for the 2020 Rising PayTech Star Award, Dawn continues on her path to revolutionizing how people think of vending machines.
PopShop Local is an initiative that helps small firms sell their merchandise in hotels, conference centers, and airports.
PopShop, an innovative vending machine that displays adverts and evaluates consumer engagement, will be placed in the high traffic areas of participating resorts and airports across the United States.
Local brands can apply for product placement in one of the systems, which would enable them to have a physical retail store without incurring labor and maintenance costs.
The program is an innovative and convenient way for consumers to access local souvenirs and quality product designs.
In just a few months, PopShop Local has already garnered plenty of fans, with AC Hotel, JW Marriott, and Virgin Hotel being the initiative’s pilots.
Dawn’s Recommendations to Small Businesses
In the last 20 years, Dawn has raised capital in every manner. From seeking contributions from family and friends to bootstrapping, and pitching competitions to accelerator and grant programs, she has done it all.
She lives up to her mantra: ‘by any means necessary.’
The skillful entrepreneur learned from a young age that one has to flexible in their approach and recognize their prospective investors based on their business stage.
The longer you wait to raise institutional capital, the better deals and terms you will get.
In a recent podcast interview, Dawn expressed that most entrepreneurs lose proprietorship and equity when they accept capital too soon at terms that do not benefit them in the long run.
She has had this experience and understands the risks of rushed investments.
Therefore, she is advising small business owners to first understand the terms offered. Entrepreneurs should also know what they are giving up and what it means to exit the market.
Business owners must also be very strategic about the capital they take. It is not about the equity you amass. It’s about the cash you can walk away from that informs where you stand.
Recommendations to Black Women As They Develop Their Businesses
As a Black woman trying to grow, develop and scale your business, ensure that you:
• Have a clear understanding of your industry. Learn the bolts and knots of the market and be on top of the upcoming trends and market projections.
• Have a solid plan, write it out, and revisit it each year to see how you are fairing. You should also have a deep comprehension of the financials and projections.
• Know how to monetize and grow your business. What do you require to be operational? What is your marketing and hiring budget? What about research development? It would be best if you catered to every sector before making any investments.
• Have an end game. Most start-up entrepreneurs tend to underestimate themselves. Don’t. Figure out where you want your business to be in the next five to ten years. Do you want a $10 million or $100 million company?
Figuring out what you want and where you want the business to be in five years will allow you to have a concrete plan in place.
Dawn Dickson has received several awards and accolades for her entrepreneurship skills. She has even been a guest speaker in various panels like Forbes, Fortune, Huffington Post, and Essence Magazine.
Dawn has helped to raise millions of dollars for her ventures since she started out in 2001. In 2019, she became the first female CEO to raise over one million dollars using equity crowdfunding.