Over five years ago SCORE held its first mentoring session with Erika Tate. Erika stated that she was in the early stages of launching a consulting business, named Bluknowledge, and was seeking guidance from SCORE toward adopting sound business practices. We agreed that the first step in the process lay in the preparation of a business plan. Within a few weeks she completed a well researched and well thought out business plan.
Bluknowledge is a research and consulting firm that seeks social justice in the fields of education and community health. Through a diverse set of projects that range from curriculum design to research and evaluation, Bluknowledge has provided services to K-12 schools, universities and community-based organizations across the country.
Erika holds a Phd in Mathematics, Science and Technology from the University of California, Berkeley. Through her combined research and related classroom and community-based practice in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and community health, she was well prepared to launch a consulting career. During the past five years Erika has begun to narrow her focus to the design and delivery of STEM learning experiences for community and educational institutions.
Bluknowledge’s annual revenue has continuallly grown and currently exceeds $100,000. Recognizing the impact of time constraints on consulting revenue growth, Erika is currently designing a series of proprietary STEM service products that include curricular materials and professional learning as a vehicle to leverage business growth.
Bluknowledge is managed in a very disciplined manner. At six month intervals Erika conducts a comprehensive business review with her SCORE mentor. Areas of discussion include cash flow results and projections, prioritization of consulting opportunities, goal setting and collaboration opportunities.
Below are comments from Erika Tate, CEO of Bluknowledge, regarding the advice offered by SCORE through the various phases it its business growth.
“SCORE constructively challenged my business model and the underlying assumptions”
“My preparation for the six month business reviews forces me to examine all aspects of my business”
“A business assessment of the my consulting opportunities has allowed me to my most time effective priorities”
“SCORE’s objectivity has offered me a decision making sounding board throughout the life of Bluknowledge”