Scholarship Donors Play a Vital Role in Facilitating Minority Business Growth

Marjorie perry headshot tuck horiz

My company had reached a plateau at $3M, and I needed a strategic plan for growth, despite the lackluster economy. It was time to come back to Tuck for the next stepping stone program, Growing the Minority Business to Scale. I am immensely grateful to faculty staff and my classmates - they all inspired me and helped me reach my goals.

– Marojorie Perry

Participant Testimonial: Marjorie Perry

As CEO of a small growth-oriented construction and transportation company in New Jersey, I realized that identifying new opportunities for growth – both personally and in my business – required putting some new tools in my toolbelt. Executing on those opportunities would require even more commitment, discipline and grit than ever.

So how did we grow our business from $3 million to $13 Million in less than a year? The answer is threefold: Having access to the right resources, an unwavering commitment to implement a revised business plan for the times, and a partial scholarship to attend Tuck’s executive education program, Growing the Minority Business to Scale.

My Tuck story starts back in 2003, when I attended my first program, Building a High-Performing Minority Business. That program helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses and was the catalyst for taking on some major challenges in my life. Being back in the classroom inspired me to get an MBA, which helped drive my company forward. But a few years later, the economy took its toll. MZM had reached a plateau at $3M, and I needed a strategic plan for growth, despite the lackluster economy. It was time to come back to Tuck for the next stepping stone program, Growing the Minority Business to Scale. I knew this is what I needed, but my funds were short. The solution: apply for a partial scholarship from the Tuck Minority Program Alumni Scholarship Fund.

Armed with a partial scholarship, I attended the Growth program in the summer of 2010 and I came away transformed. I focused on learning where the next growth sectors for business opportunities would be. I walked away prepared to change with the times and committed to hiring a strategic CFO (not just a bean counter). Here are some of the most compelling lessons I learned and implemented:

1. Extended our position in the value chain by providing additional transportation services to our core business – this added value for our customers.

2. Evaluated innovation in the context of product lifecycle; how to identify the next idea and develop it with correct market timing.

3. Anticipated and responded quickly to customer needs.

4. Shifted from a regional to a national supplier by developing strategic partnerships, which allowed us to expand to government markets and facilitated growth.

By extending our position in the value chain, expanding into national markets, and being awarded government contracts we grew revenues by $10 million – to $13millon – in less than a year. Tuck was instrumental in helping us create our strategy for growth.

So here’s my bottom line: When you attend Tuck’s programs for minority businesses, you can count on growing your business by learning how to read the business landscape during any economic environment and using strategies such as hiring the best talent possible in order to grow the business, which helped us create new jobs and employ even more people in our community. Another benefit of our growth is that it enables us to increase our support of scholarships for inner city students pursuing their undergraduate degrees. Education has impacted my life in so many positive ways, therefore I’ve made a contribution to the Tuck Alumni Scholarship Fund, which I know will help another deserving MBE grow and create new jobs in their community.

I’m immensely grateful to the Tuck Professors, the minority program staff and my great like-minded classmates who inspired me during the program and after to stay committed to my plan for achieving profitable growth and to give back to my community. And I’m grateful for the partial scholarship which allowed me to get back to Tuck and make this growth possible.

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