The director of Maricopa’s small-business incubator presented its third quarter update to City Council Tuesday, during which he proclaimed he would no longer be using certain metrics to measure success despite councilmembers previously requesting more detailed numerical data.
Quintin Baker, director of the Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship, presented its Q3 numbers which showed growth in certain areas such as attendance, social media presence and mentorship. However, he showed the number of clients served, and the jobs created, slipped.
In the Q2 report, Baker reported four jobs created and 39 clients served, but in Q3 there were zero jobs created and 32 clients served.
As such, Baker said he would no longer be providing metrics related to job creation. But, that’s a good thing, he said.
“It’s not that I don’t think it is [important], it’s just that the numbers weren’t there,” Baker said. “The small businesses weren’t showing job growth, and yet they were still showing measurable success and accomplishments along their milestones and things of that nature.”
In terms of average reoccurring attendance at MCE programs, Baker said, those numbers doubled from seven in Q2 to 14 in Q3. Likewise, social media likes nearly doubled from only 894 in Q2, to 1,662 in Q3.
Baker attributed this new-found local awareness to the attention generated by the organization’s recent Pitch Competition.
The winner of that competition walked with a $500 cash prize provided by MCE’s parent organization – The Norther Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET).
MCE also picked up three new mentors, Baker said, something he attributed to that new-found awareness and the fact that people are showing greater willingness to help.
“I think it’s because people know who we are and what we’re about,” Baker said. “People have been wanting to contribute.”
Those businesses, he said, want to help with specific industries and can provide accesses to resources that could significantly improve small businesses.
Members of that new mentor pool now include Councilmember Peggy Chapados and other area community and business leaders.
MCE further accomplished several other tasks Baker said are helping the organization reach its goals, including a Boot Camp and a new Business Advisory Board.
Combined, he said, all of these elements will help MCE not only provide success to others, but also promote its own success and eventual self-sufficiency.
“The whole point of this is to try to get us to a foundation to where we can then be in a position to be self-sustaining, whether through leveraging different funding options or by being able to generate revenue through our programing.”
Baker said he hopes to soon see 15 percent of the MCE’s expenses sponsored by other organizations or companies.
City Hall has already started a search for organizations that could run the business incubator after city council expressed dissatisfaction with NACET. At Tuesday’s meeting, the councilmembers spent very little time questioning Baker.