Thought Leaders:
Bill J. Priest Institute

Q+A | Musings on innovation from the region's paradigm-shifting companies and organizations

Click the image to read THOUGHT LEADERS on Issuu.

Click the image to read THOUGHT LEADERS on Issuu.

DCCCD’s Bill J. Priest Institute’s mission is to help small businesses grow revenue, increase jobs and contribute to the economic growth of Dallas County. Led by its Small Business Innovation Cultivator, the institute brings together resources and assets that make it a “one-stop shop” for small business services. Learn more in our Q+A below.

Tell us about Bill J. Priest Institute.

Bill J. Priest Institute (BJP) is a one-stop-shop for small business innovation, growth, and economic development. At one location, our partners share a vision and collectively provide a wide array of services tailored to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Our partners include: The Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce, The Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, North Texas Small Business Development Center, LiftFund, SCORE, PeopleFund, WorkReadyU, Workforce Solutions, and npower. Together, we help small businesses grow revenue, increase jobs and contribute to the economic growth of North Texas.

How can small businesses utilize the resources at BJP to grow their business?

Charnella Derry

Charnella Derry

Charnella Derry, president of Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute, has taken full advantage of resources at BJP and has also made it her business home as a tenant. “When we first started, I didn’t have a business plan, I didn’t have any direction, until I went to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and worked with Judith Collins,” Derry said. “She became my advisor and was able to help me map out a plan in bite-size pieces.”

As Derry built her business, she heard about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) program and knew it would be the catalyst she needed to catapult to the next level. As an alumna, Derry has taken what she learned, grown her revenue by 50 percent, and with the guidance of her SBDC advisor and 10KSB growth plan obtained the access to capital she needed through PeopleFund that allowed her to take on larger contracts.

How does access to resources, such as higher education and access to capital, impact your ability to compete?

“Under this one roof, BJP has all the growth resources that you need,” Derry stated. “If I hadn’t connected with those different resources, I don’t know what I would be doing. They moved me to another level, opened doors, and gave me exposure and access to people that I wouldn’t normally be exposed to.”

Learn more here.

A verson of this story first appeared in Dallas Innovates 2018, an annual magazine that showcases Dallas-Fort Worth as a hub of innovation. Read more about the region’s game changers, disruptors, creatives, and our new frontiers in the digital edition.



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