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Jen Brunkow

Cleveland, OH

INDUSTRY: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
BUSINESS: CGB TECH SOLUTIONS
YEAR FOUNDED: 2003
PROGRAM: 2014 UNIVERSITY CIRCLE'S NEXTSTEP
“When I began participating and interacting with my classmates, and started gaining confidence week after week, I knew I had not only the outward appearance of confidence, but I had the goods to back it up.”
BUSINESS OVERVIEW
CGB Tech Solutions provides IT services to nonprofit but also commercial clients around Cleveland, in the downtown area and to the west in Avon. The focus on nonprofits was intentional--working with purpose-driven organizations is something Jen has found “incredibly fulfilling.” The business was founded by Jen and her husband, who originally worked out of their duplex. Eleven years later, they had only a single office and six employees to show for it. Since taking University Circle’s NextStep program, however, revenue has increased by 57 percent and today CGB Tech employs almost three times as many people as it did in 2014, with 15 employees at its two current locations.

GAINING CONFIDENCE
In 2014 Jen took part in the NextStep program, a seven month peer-based training program for small business owners looking to scale. Not only did she get hard skills from the program, such as how to create a growth plan, but she also gained the necessary confidence to be a true spokesperson for her business.

Now Jen sees confidence as one of the most important things one must have in order to run a business: “Get out of [your] cave, get out there, and figure out what you don’t know, and be willing to learn it, and figure out ‘hey, I knew this all along--I should have had some confidence in it.’”

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