In a recent discussion on The Business of Giving, Jane Veron, CEO of The Acceleration Project (TAP), discussed TAP’s mission to support small businesses, which she calls “the engine of our economy.” She outlined the challenges these businesses face, including limited access to services and capital, and detailed TAP’s strategy of using pro bono consultants to provide expert assistance. This approach maximizes donor contributions and ensures cultural sensitivity, reflecting Veron’s dedication to empowering small businesses and enhancing community development.


Jane Veron, co-founder and CEO of The Acceleration Project

Redefining Non-Profit Impact in Business
In a recent conversation on The Business of Giving, Jane Veron, CEO of The Acceleration Project (TAP), shed light on her unique nonprofit’s mission to bolster small businesses. Challenging traditional norms, TAP empowers under-resourced entrepreneurs to foster a more inclusive economy. Veron articulates this innovative approach: “Small business owners are the engine of our economy.”

Origin: Bridging a Crucial Gap
Jane Veron’s journey with TAP was rooted in her professional expertise and a deep understanding of small businesses’ struggles. As a seasoned MBA and private sector professional, Veron recognized the disparity in support available to small businesses compared to large corporations. She explains the motivation behind TAP, “Many do not have access to the services… that would enable them to succeed.”

Adaptation and Response to Market Shifts
The inception of TAP coincided with significant market transformations. Veron observed the impact of the internet and big box stores on consumer behavior, which later escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic. She illustrates the precarious situation of small businesses during these times, highlighting TAP’s vital role in keeping them afloat.

Strategic Selection for Maximum Impact
TAP’s assistance is not indiscriminate but targeted for effectiveness. Veron outlines the criteria for selecting businesses, focusing on those with steady revenues and the potential for growth and job creation. This approach ensures donor funds are utilized efficiently. Veron states, “We’re looking to be able to bring our services to bear, to support those businesses that can really accelerate.”

Confronting Core Challenges
Veron identifies finance, human capital, and time management as universal hurdles for small businesses. TAP’s programs are designed to address these challenges, equipping owners with the knowledge and skills necessary for sustainability and growth. “The biggest challenge is always, one: access to capital,” Veron remarks, emphasizing the critical nature of financial acumen.

Harnessing Professional Talent for Social Good
A cornerstone of TAP’s model is its utilization of pro bono consultants. This initiative channels the expertise of professionals in career transitions back into the economy, benefiting both small businesses and the consultants. Veron proudly notes, “We train professional talent… then serve the small business.”

Empowering Entrepreneurs, Strengthening Communities
Jane Veron’s leadership and vision through TAP represent a significant shift in supporting small business ecosystems. By providing critical guidance and resources, TAP not only propels individual businesses forward but also plays a crucial role in nurturing community economies. Veron’s strategic and thoughtful approach highlights the transformative power of combining professional expertise with a commitment to societal advancement.

To listen to the full interview or read the transcript, just click here.

Denver Frederick, Host of The Business of Giving serves as a Trusted Advisor and Executive Coach to Nonprofit Leaders. His Book, The Business of Giving: New Best Practices for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Leaders in an Uncertain World, is available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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