Jennifer Gamble is a Chicago native who has called Nashville home since graduating from Fisk University. She is a non-profit executive turned entrepreneur and founder of Nelson PR + Communications (her maiden name is Nelson, in case you are as inquisitive as we are:). She is paving her own path in corporate communications and we are excited to share her client story.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was working as the CEO for Prevent Blindness TN, raising funds, hiring staff, managing an annual budget of $400K, you name it. During this time, it hit me that I was essentially learning how to run my own business and I officially launched Nelson PR + Communications in 2012. Launching my firm allowed me to get back into my passion of promoting programs and brand building for public entities. Working with clients like the TSU Athletics Department on a daily basis continues to be a rewarding part of my journey.
Nashville is being called the “It” city…. Why are you loving Nashville for your business?
As an entrepreneur that believes family comes first, I could not see raising my children anywhere else. Nashville is where I began my collegiate journey, met my husband (a TSU grad, go Tigers!) and developed expertise in driving real results for corporations and non-profits. This city provides a nurturing home for small businesses and has city leaders that recognize, appreciate and support a thriving local business economy.
What was the biggest aha moment you have experienced during your business journey?
Discovering my niche in helping government and public organizations. Many times, public organizations do not have the resources, time and/or see the importance of building a strong brand presence. I am able to provide a cost effective way for them to build, manage and grow their organization in order for them to devote more time to their civic and mission driven work.
Why has NBIC been the best option for you and your business?
I love the use of my convenient and functional office space, beneficial business development services and information that I receive along with the opportunity to network and establish peer-to-peer relationships with other small business owners. NBIC was actual pivotal in helping me develop my accounting system. This was one area I needed help in and of course, as a small business I could not go out and hire an accounting firm initially. Having the opportunity to gain this insight through NBIC was priceless and has helped in the sustainability of my company.
Name a barrier you faced during your business journey and how did you make it work for your good?
Of course, there are societal perceptions in being a minority, women-owned business. However, I never try to avoid it, but instead, utilize it as a positive. I take pride in my uniqueness and the different perspectives that I bring to a client relationship that may not be found in general market agencies. I can reach broader audiences. I can create tailored strategies that advance public awareness and diverse community outreach. I can add value and drive the results my clients needs. My goal is to always meet my position and identity head on. I go out there and focus on #winning; there is no time for hiding.
“I go out there and focus on #winning; there is no time for hiding.”
Is there one business resource or tip you would give to NBIC readers just starting out in their business?
I would tell any entrepreneur to make sure they are taking advantage of the local business resources provided in their city. Nashville has a lot of great organizations such as NBIC, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center that offer free and membership style services to help in growing your business. There is a learning curve for many new business owners and you just don’t know what you don’t know. Seeking out resources, networking and attending informational meetings is a good way to shorten the learning curve and avoid making crucial beginner mistakes.
Lastly, what can Music City expect from your company in 2017?
I am a part of the NBIC’s current Mentor Protege and Emerging Contractors program and will actively be pursuing federal contracts along with local government opportunities this year. Receiving a federal contract would be next level for my business and I am looking forward to making that happen in 2017.