Products from the Lamb's business
James and Rita Lamb are in the bee business. As the owners of Southwest Arkansas Beekeeping Supplies, the Lambs make and sell a variety of products ranging from scented candles, candies and soaps – to name a few - made of honey and wax from their bee farm.
The Lambs were looking for ways to expand their business and boost their marketing efforts. So they signed up for Operation Jumpstart (OJS), a six-week hands-on microenterprise training course for business owners and operators. OJS is designed to educate and empower entrepreneurs by providing business development and support opportunities.
Earlier this year, the Lambs successfully completed the OJS training program. As if there wasn’t enough to celebrate, they also won the Operation JumpStart Class 3 business competition, receiving a grand prize of $1,200, seed money the Lambs say will go toward further developing their business.
The Arkansas Women’s Business Center partnered with four community colleges across the state to provide the OJS business training. So far this year, 18 participants have graduated from the program in Arkansas. The Lambs say they discovered there’s so much more to learn. “We gained marketing skills through the course and realized we need help with accounting. We liked the small class size, which allowed for more one-on-one time with our speakers.”
The Lambs also took advantage of the one-on-one counseling provided by the Arkansas Women’s Business Center. They were set up with a business coach, who advised the Lambs on website enhancement and effective marketing ideas, some of which the Lambs have already started using. Said the Lambs, “the course taught us what we really needed to improve on, and gave us direction.”
OJS is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and sponsored by community colleges with the help of Winrock International’s Arkansas Women’s Business Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Lambs won the OJS Class 3 business competition