The Small Business Mentorship Initiative
World-class Mentorship for Small businesses
With a team of over 40 executives, entrepreneurs, and fellow business owners, SBMI brings you the experience and resources you need to grow your business.
How We Serve
Mentorship for Small Business Owners
As a small business owner, SBMI connects you with a network of business leaders who can help your business with focused one-on-one mentorship.
You'll focus on areas like Accounting & Finance, Sales & Marketing, Operations & Execution, Legal & Governance, and more.
Accounting & Finance
Sales & Marketing
Operations & Execution
Legal & Governance
Leadership & Management
Small Businesses. Big IMpact.
When Small Businesses Rise, We All Do.
We serve small businesses, from $5,000 to $250,000 in revenue. With the right mentorship and connections, they can reach their full potential — for themselves and those around them.
Because when we help business owners build great businesses, we help them build communities, too.
What drives Us
business Leaders Helping Business Leaders
We believe in the power of small businesses to transform lives and communities. That's why we've chosen these values to guide our work at SBMI.
Economic Opportunity for All
Collaborative & Inclusive
Commitment to Service
Damaris Oliveras: Island Life Kitchen
Damaris Oliveras grew up on a farm in Puerto Rico enjoying the benefit of fresh from the farm vegetables and spices in the unique blend that represents authentic Puerto Rican food. Her life then compelled her to move to New York, where she resettled 5 years ago. As only NY can, she experienced many restaurants claiming to be “Puerto Rican” food that had nothing in common with her recollection and experience living on the bountiful farm on which she grew up.
On the basis of this disconnect she founded Island Life Kitchen. Her business idea was to cook authentic Puerto Rican food and invite people enjoy it in the form of a culinary experience from her own home. While she enjoyed the social aspects and experience joy in preparing the food, she was struggling with finding a way to scale her business and could do without having the disruption in her home by having a substantial part of her limited living quarters disrupted by her business and wanted some help to market her business.
Damaris was introduced to the Small Business Mentorship Initiative through our partnership with IFEL (Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership). We worked together to search for Culinary Experience “brokers” where she could pay them a fee to be listed on their website, charge a higher price which would allow her to rent permanent space in a restaurant where she could do what she loves, spend time with clients and have them experience real Puerto Rican Island food and leave the set up and clean up to the restaurant staff. On top of that she could reclaim her apartment as a true living quarter, which gave her the refuge to rest and recover to get onto the next day. She is now in the process of executing that plan and hopes to convert her business over the summer 2021.