Webinar: Acquiring and Retaining Customers

You have the passion. You've put together a stellar product or service. Your business is ready to go! Now all you need are a few customers.

Knowing where to find your first customer can be tricky. On top of that, once you have them, how do you keep them coming back?! To get more insight into this process, we hosted a panel discussion featuring three business owners working in different fields to talk more about their experiences growing their own customer base.

September 15th, 2020 Panel Discussion on Building Your Customer Base

Meet the Panelists

Adrean Mangiardi: Mangiardi Films - Owner, Producer, Director, Video Editor

Adrean is the founder and owner of Mangiardi Films, a full-service production company that works with a wide variety of clients including individuals, major corporations, and non-profits. He has intensive experience in the video media industry and has been running his own business and freelancing for over twenty years.

Selling and pricing a creative service can be difficult, as each customer is asking you to create something that doesn’t exist yet. Adrean will share his experiences as a freelancer and with Mangiardi Films in finding customers, meeting (and exceeding) their expectations, and making sure he makes a profit.

Adrean graduated from RIT with a BFA in Film and Animation in 2006 and from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with his MFA in Film, Video and New Media in 2009.

Ericka Olujie: Erry B. Shop - Founder and CEO

Ericka founded Erry B. Shop, an online clothing and accessory shop, in 2019 with the goal of spreading knowledge of Black Deaf culture. In 2019, her shop has been recognized by Deaf Women of Color as an Overlooked Gem and has since grown to become a prominent Deaf-owned business.

In the three years since Ericka founded Erry B. Shop, she’s grown a large and loyal customer base in the extremely competitive space of e-commerce. In this panel discussion, Ericka will share how she has not only made her brand stand out, but also nurtured a growing and loyal customer base.

Nikki Reineck: Sisters in Style – Co-Founder and CEO

Nikki co-founded Sisters in Style, a brick-and-mortar shop and e-commerce boutique, with her sister Emilia Doudt in 2019. Sisters in Style offers clothing from sizes Small through 3XL that can be purchased in-person in Frederick, Maryland, online through their website, or through their app.

Many factors go into finding new customers when you have a physical storefront – like outside appearance, in-store experience, employee interactions, and – of course – your products. In our discussion, Nikki will share her experiences catching the attention of passersby, creating a welcoming environment, and retaining loyal customers - 70% of whom make repeat orders!

Prior to starting her business, Nikki has worked as a program analyst for the US Federal Government, and as a creative leader with Initials Inc. She also owned her own virtual assistant company, Your Desk’s Assistant, where she worked with Deaf business owners to provide support on a variety of projects.

Webinar: How to Build an Authentic Brand That Lasts

Business Strategy and Setup Consultation

As a part of our monthly consultation giveaways, you can enter to win a free consultation with Dallas McCarthy on your business set up and strategy.

In this general consultation for you and up to one teammate, Dallas will review your business goals and set up and share his insight and best practices. In this meeting you will discuss your business goals, structure, strengths, weaknesses and more. The general information shared in this consultation is just that: generalized best practices; does not constitute any legal advice and should not be used as such. Furthermore, the recipient of this consultation is ultimately responsible for their decisions on how they operate their business.  

Terms and Conditions

To be eligible for this giveaway you must meet the criteria listed below and complete the entry form prior to September 28th, 2022.

Additional eligibility terms apply. You can find the full terms and conditions by clicking on the "plus sign" below.

Terms and Conditions (click to view)

Official Rules 

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. 
A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. 

  1. Introduction. The CSD Social Venture Fund (CSD SVF) September Consultation Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) is a reward program with the goal of providing access to critical resources to deaf or hard-of-hearing business owners so they can accurately assess and plan for the future growth of their business. 
  1. Eligibility. The Sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the United States who: (a) identify as deaf or hard-of-hearing, (b) are 18 years of age or older, (c) Have an interest in starting a business, have taken steps to start a business, or have an established business, and (d) are located in the United States at the time of entry. 
  1. Sweepstakes Period. The Sweepstakes begins at 12:00AM ET September 12, 2022 and ends at 11:59PM ET September 28, 2022. 
  1. How to Enter. To enter the Sweepstakes, participants must fill out an entry form on our website. One entry per email address.  Your entry is valid for the current month's CSD SVF Consultation Sweepstakes only, and to be considered again for any future CSD SVF sweepstakes, re-entry is required. You are not a winner until your prize claim is validated and you receive official written notification via email from CSD SVF. By entering, you indicate your full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and to CSD SVF’s related Sweepstakes decisions, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling the requirements explained herein. 
  1. Winner Selection and Notification. On or about September 29th potential prize winners will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received for the Sweepstakes. CSD SVF will notify the winners by email with instructions on how to claim the prize between September 29th and October 3rd. If a potential winner does not respond and comply with the instructions in the email within fifteen days after the email, the winner will forfeit the prize and CSD SVF may award the prize to an alternate entrant, selected at random. Only 3 alternate entrants will be contacted. 
  1. There will be a maximum of 1 (one) prize awarded per month: The prize will consist of a remote one-hour consultation with you and one other member of your staff or business team, and a member of the CSD SVF team or an external subject matter expert on the topic of social media. 
  1. General Rules. CSD SVF is not responsible for: (i) electronic or digital transmissions or entries that are lost, late, stolen, incomplete, illegible, damaged, garbled, destroyed, or misdirected; (ii) any problems or technical malfunctions, errors, omissions, interruptions, deletions, defects, delays in operation of transmission, communication failures (including but not limited to failures or malfunctions of phone lines, telephone systems or other communications systems), destruction of or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries; (iii) failed or unavailable hardware, network, software or telephone transmissions; (iv) damage to entrants’ or any person’s computer; (v) causes beyond CSD SVF’s reasonable control that jeopardize the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes; (vi) incorrect or inaccurate entry information whether caused by entrants or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (vii) any typographical or other error in the advertising related to the Sweepstakes, in the administration or execution of the Sweepstakes, or in the announcement/notification of prize winners; or (viii) cheating or fraud by any participant. All incomplete or non-conforming entries will be disqualified.  
  1. Release & Waiver: By participating in this Sweepstakes, participants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless CSD SVF and its affiliates from and against any and all liability, loss, injuries or damages associated with participation in this Sweepstakes or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize received in this Sweepstakes. By participating in this Sweepstakes, participants waive all rights to claim punitive, indirect, incidental and consequential damages, attorneys’ fees or any damages other than actual out-of-pocket costs incurred to participate. 
  1. Disclaimer. None of the information or content included in this Sweepstakes, including the Prize, constitutes professional, legal and/or financial advice.  You alone assume the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other content included in this Sweepstakes before making any decisions based on such information. Consistent with Section 8 and in exchange for participating in this Sweepstakes, you agree not to hold CSD SVF, its affiliates liable for any possible claim for damages arising from any decision you make based on information or other content made available to you through the Sweepstakes. 
  1. Disputes/Governing Law. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these rules, or the rights and obligations of any entrant or CSD SVF in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions which would cause the application or the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Texas. Any action or litigation concerning this Sweepstakes shall take place exclusively in the federal or state courts sitting in Travis County, Texas, and you expressly consent to the jurisdiction of and venue in such courts and waive all defenses of lack of jurisdiction and inconvenient forum with respect to such courts. Any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Sweepstakes, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action. You agree to service of process by mail or other method acceptable under the laws of the State of Texas. ANY CLAIMS, JUDGMENTS AND/OR AWARDS SHALL BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ENTERING THIS SWEEPSTAKES. YOU HEREBY WAIVE ANY RIGHTS OR CLAIMS TO ATTORNEY’S FEES, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ENTRANT, IDENTIFIABLE PERSONS, OR THIRD-PARTY PARTICIPANTS, WHETHER FORESEEABLE OR NOT AND WHETHER BASED ON NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE. 
  1. Terms & Privacy: Participation in this Sweepstakes is subject to the CSD SVF Terms of Use located at csdsvf.com/monthly-consultations-tc. By entering this Sweepstakes, you agree to adhere to the terms, policies and guidelines described in the above Terms of Use. The personal information collected through this Sweepstakes is subject to the CSD SVF Privacy Policy located at https://csdsvf.com/privacy/. By entering this Sweepstakes, you agree to the use of your personal information as described in the above Privacy Policy. In the event of any conflict between these Sweepstakes rules and the CSD SVF Terms of Use or the CSD SVF Privacy Policy, these Sweepstakes rules shall take precedence. 
  1. Winners’ List: To view the winners’ list for this Sweepstakes visit  csdsvf.com/monthly-consultations. The winners’ list will be available after winner validation has been completed. 
  1. This Sweepstakes is sponsored by Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (“CSD”), 2028 E Ben White Blvd #240-5250, Austin, TX 78741. 

Mitigating Risks in Contracts and Agreements

Write and Manage Effective Contracts

Contracts play an important role in almost every business right from the start. From day one, you may be dealing with contracts with vendors, landlords, customers, and your partners. By making sure your contracts have the right information in them and are managed properly you can set clear expectations and avoid disputes. Effective contract management can even boost your annual revenue by nine percent!

Mitigating Risks in Contracts and Agreements 

As a part of our monthly consultation giveaways, you can enter to win a free consultation with Richard Horrell on mitigating risks in your contracts and agreements.  

In this general consultation for you and up to one teammate, Richard will provide an overview of common core components of effective contracts and how you can generally incorporate them into your agreements. In addition, Richard will share some best practices for managing contracts, which is a practice that if implemented consistently, can help you avoid penalties, missed deadlines, and invalidated contracts. 

The general information shared in this consultation is just that: generalized best practices; does not constitute any legal advice and should not be used as such. Furthermore, the recipient of this consultation is ultimately responsible for their decisions on how they operate their business.  

Terms and Conditions

To be eligible for this giveaway you must meet the criteria listed below and complete the entry form prior to August 28th, 2022.

Additional eligibility terms apply. You can find the full terms and conditions by clicking on the "plus sign" below.

Terms and Conditions (click to view)

Official Rules 

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. 
A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. 

  1. Introduction. The CSD Social Venture Fund (CSD SVF) August Consultation Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) is a reward program with the goal of providing access to critical resources to deaf or hard-of-hearing business owners so they can accurately assess and plan for the future growth of their business. 
  1. Eligibility. The Sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the United States who: (a) identify as deaf or hard-of-hearing, (b) are 18 years of age or older, (c) Have an interest in starting a business, have taken steps to start a business, or have an established business, and (d) are located in the United States at the time of entry. 
  1. Sweepstakes Period. The Sweepstakes begins at 12:00AM ET August 10, 2022 and ends at 11:59PM ET August 28, 2022. 
  1. How to Enter. To enter the Sweepstakes, participants must fill out an entry form on our website. One entry per email address.  Your entry is valid for the current month's CSD SVF Consultation Sweepstakes only, and to be considered again for any future CSD SVF sweepstakes, re-entry is required. You are not a winner until your prize claim is validated and you receive official written notification via email from CSD SVF. By entering, you indicate your full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and to CSD SVF’s related Sweepstakes decisions, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling the requirements explained herein. 
  1. Winner Selection and Notification. On or about August 29th potential prize winners will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received for the Sweepstakes. CSD SVF will notify the winners by email with instructions on how to claim the prize between August 29th and September 1st. If a potential winner does not respond and comply with the instructions in the email within fifteen days after the email, the winner will forfeit the prize and CSD SVF may award the prize to an alternate entrant, selected at random. Only 3 alternate entrants will be contacted. 
  1. There will be a maximum of 1 (one) prize awarded per month: The prize will consist of a remote one-hour consultation with you and one other member of your staff or business team, and a member of the CSD SVF team or an external subject matter expert on the topic of social media. 
  1. General Rules. CSD SVF is not responsible for: (i) electronic or digital transmissions or entries that are lost, late, stolen, incomplete, illegible, damaged, garbled, destroyed, or misdirected; (ii) any problems or technical malfunctions, errors, omissions, interruptions, deletions, defects, delays in operation of transmission, communication failures (including but not limited to failures or malfunctions of phone lines, telephone systems or other communications systems), destruction of or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries; (iii) failed or unavailable hardware, network, software or telephone transmissions; (iv) damage to entrants’ or any person’s computer; (v) causes beyond CSD SVF’s reasonable control that jeopardize the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes; (vi) incorrect or inaccurate entry information whether caused by entrants or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (vii) any typographical or other error in the advertising related to the Sweepstakes, in the administration or execution of the Sweepstakes, or in the announcement/notification of prize winners; or (viii) cheating or fraud by any participant. All incomplete or non-conforming entries will be disqualified.  
  1. Release & Waiver: By participating in this Sweepstakes, participants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless CSD SVF and its affiliates from and against any and all liability, loss, injuries or damages associated with participation in this Sweepstakes or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize received in this Sweepstakes. By participating in this Sweepstakes, participants waive all rights to claim punitive, indirect, incidental and consequential damages, attorneys’ fees or any damages other than actual out-of-pocket costs incurred to participate. 
  1. Disclaimer. None of the information or content included in this Sweepstakes, including the Prize, constitutes professional, legal and/or financial advice.  You alone assume the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other content included in this Sweepstakes before making any decisions based on such information. Consistent with Section 8 and in exchange for participating in this Sweepstakes, you agree not to hold CSD SVF, its affiliates liable for any possible claim for damages arising from any decision you make based on information or other content made available to you through the Sweepstakes. 
  1. Disputes/Governing Law. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these rules, or the rights and obligations of any entrant or CSD SVF in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions which would cause the application or the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Texas. Any action or litigation concerning this Sweepstakes shall take place exclusively in the federal or state courts sitting in Travis County, Texas, and you expressly consent to the jurisdiction of and venue in such courts and waive all defenses of lack of jurisdiction and inconvenient forum with respect to such courts. Any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Sweepstakes, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action. You agree to service of process by mail or other method acceptable under the laws of the State of Texas. ANY CLAIMS, JUDGMENTS AND/OR AWARDS SHALL BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ENTERING THIS SWEEPSTAKES. YOU HEREBY WAIVE ANY RIGHTS OR CLAIMS TO ATTORNEY’S FEES, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ENTRANT, IDENTIFIABLE PERSONS, OR THIRD-PARTY PARTICIPANTS, WHETHER FORESEEABLE OR NOT AND WHETHER BASED ON NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE. 
  1. Terms & Privacy: Participation in this Sweepstakes is subject to the CSD SVF Terms of Use located at csdsvf.com/monthly-consultations-tc. By entering this Sweepstakes, you agree to adhere to the terms, policies and guidelines described in the above Terms of Use. The personal information collected through this Sweepstakes is subject to the CSD SVF Privacy Policy located at https://csdsvf.com/privacy/. By entering this Sweepstakes, you agree to the use of your personal information as described in the above Privacy Policy. In the event of any conflict between these Sweepstakes rules and the CSD SVF Terms of Use or the CSD SVF Privacy Policy, these Sweepstakes rules shall take precedence. 
  1. Winners’ List: To view the winners’ list for this Sweepstakes visit  csdsvf.com/monthly-consultations. The winners’ list will be available after winner validation has been completed. 
  1. This Sweepstakes is sponsored by Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (“CSD”), 2028 E Ben White Blvd #240-5250, Austin, TX 78741. 

Deaf-Led Businesses That Can Support Your Business

When you start your own business, you need to have some general knowledge of accounting, finance, IT, human resources, business law, marketing, and several other areas that often require a more in-depth understanding.  

The good news is that you aren’t expected to do it all on your own. There are many services out there that you can use to make sure your business is set up for success. The even better news? Many of these businesses are owned and operated by Deaf or hard-of-hearing experts. 

We’ve compiled a list of Deaf-owned businesses that provide services and support to other businesses below. This is not an exhaustive list, if you know of a business or consultant that you would like to have added, please reach out to us through our contact form.  

Business Consulting and Strategy 

Alex Jones Coaching

Alex Jones offers entrepreneurship and business coaching for individuals looking to define their business vision and become more effective entrepreneurs. Connect with Alex to develop your business strategy and get an outside opinion on your business direction. 

CSD Social Venture Fund

The CSD Social Venture Fund provides a full suite of business consultation services to our investment partners. If you’re just getting started, or are not interested in an equity investment, you can join one of our monthly webinars or networking events to get your questions answered. If you’re looking for more individualized support, reach out to us through our contact page, and we will do our best to connect you with the appropriate resources. 

InnoSt Consulting

Innost Consulting offers consulting on business development, project management, strategic growth, and general business solutions. Deaf and hard-of-hearing business owners can set up an appointment to receive guidance from an experienced professional at any stage of their business.

Innivee Strategies

Innivee Strategies is a consulting firm that focuses on organizational efficiency and leadership development. Additionally, you can partner with this firm for support on goal-setting processes, strategic communications, and external partner relations. 

Yantern

Yantern supports Deaf and hard-of-hearing entrepreneurs prepare and launch their business ideas. They provide online webinars, one-on-one consultations, conferences, and tips that provide aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs with important information related to owning and operating a business.

Business Insurance

DHH Insurance Agency

DHH Insurance is a Rochester-based insurance agency and has been providing insurance services since 1999. They offer insurance options for individuals, interpreters, non-profits, and businesses. They offer many packages for businesses including, business interruption, worker’s compensation, umbrella liability and more. 

Community

Deaf Entrepreneur Network

The Deaf Entrepreneur Network (DEN) is a startup community with the goal of connecting aspiring and experienced Deaf and hard-of-hearing entrepreneurs. DEN also hosts conferences for entrepreneurs and business owners and recently announced their 2023 dates. Visit their website to learn more. 

Online Groups

There are many unofficial online groups dedicated to to Deaf and hard-of-hearing entrepreneurs. You can visit this blog to find a list of groups specific to your area where you can connect with other entrepreneurs and promote your services. 

Customer Service 

ASL Now, Powered by Connect Direct

ASL Now is an innovative and culturally responsive customer service offering. Instead of relying on VRS or interpreters, ASL Now employs Deaf and hard-of-hearing customer service representatives to respond directly to your customers’ questions or concerns.

Financial Services: Bookkeeping, Tax Preparation and Accounting 

DeafTax Financial Services

DeafTax is a Deaf-owned and led tax preparation business. You can reach out to their tax professionals for support with your business formation paperwork, State and Federal filing and registrations, and business planning. Reach out to them today to set up a consultation and learn more about how they can support your business.

Folk Williams Financial Management

Folk Williams Financial Management offers a variety of services for individuals and businesses. As an entrepreneur, you can reach out to this firm for support with banking relationships, business insurance, corporate taxes, business planning, business valuation, business formation and more.  

TZornoza

Travis Zornoza is a QuickBooks Pro advisor who is working towards becoming a Certified Public Accountant. Business owners can work with TZornoza for their bookkeeping and accounting needs, payroll services, general ledger preparation, and several other areas of financial needs.

Legal Services

We were unable to find any Deaf-led firms dedicated to business law but know there are many talented Deaf and hard-of-hearing law professionals across the country. The National Association of the Deaf has written a blog with tips on finding and working with lawyers that may be helpful to you in your search. 

Marketing and Web Design 

Copper and Water

Copper and Water is a Deaf-owned and operated business based in Washington D.C. but with staff located across the country. Their team of professionals specializes in a variety of areas including, film production, public relations, and web development.

Deaf Blue Cats

The founders of Deaf Blue Cats are committed to supporting social causes. If your business needs web services, this Deaf-owned company provides a suite of services including web design, web hosting, graphic design, and creative strategy. 

Dozanu Innovations

Dozanu Innovations provides a full suite of digital marketing services. You can work with Dozanu on your business’ digital marketing, creative marketing, strategic campaigns, social media and business development. They emphasize BX Design™, which focuses on using best business operations and practices to determine your ideal strategy.

Her Hustle Mind

Claudia works with business owners to build engaging social media strategies that help them save time and gain visibility. Her Hustle Mind offers four different packages, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum to support business owners with their social strategy. 

IS Web Plus Service

IS Web Plus Service provides custom e-commerce support, web design, web hosting services, as well as print and media design. Visit their website to learn more about their ready-made web page template, custom web design and other offerings.

Kay Star Support Services

Keandra’s key business offering is support. Business owners who are looking for social media management support, or a virtual assistant can benefit from reaching out to Kay Star Support. Visit their website or Instagram to make an appointment and learn more.

Magnabos.Co

Magnabos.Co is a digital and design agency that can support your business with brand experience, user experience, and conversion creation. Not sure where to start? They recommend a 1:1 consultation to go over your needs and goals in order to find the right service for you! 

Other Services

There will inevitably be times when you find yourself in need of support from experts in areas not listed above, like graphic design, photography, human resources, information technology, writing, and more. In these instances, there are several Deaf-led organizations that you can reach out to for support finding a solution. 

Dripple

Dripple connects business owners with talented freelancers to support one-off and long-term projects. With a list of nearly 1,000 talented Deaf and hard-of-hearing freelancers across many industries, you can be sure Dripple will be able to match you with a talented professional that can meet your budget.

Eyeth Visual

Eyeth Visual Entertainment can provide a wide range of services for your business. If you're looking to host an in-person or virtual event, lead a fundraiser, host a webinar, or more you can reach out to their talented team for support.

Professional Services

CSD Professional Services provides tailored support to businesses looking for inclusive solutions to their operational needs. Their team of dedicated professionals offer services related to financial services, human resources, marketing and communications, information technology and e-learning. 

Free Consultations for One Deaf or Hard of Hearing Entrepreneur Each Month

The Benefits of Working with a Consultant

Working with a consultant is a useful exercise for entrepreneurs at any stage of their business. Consultations give you the opportunity to get an outside perspective and advice on specific areas in your business, such as marketing, finances, or management. Entrepreneurs can use consultants to:

We recognize that hiring a consultant can be expensive and is often out of budget for small businesses just starting out, and are working to make these opportunities more readily available.

Enter to Win a Free Consultation

Every month between July 2022 and June 2023, CSD Social Venture Fund will be providing a free consultation to a Deaf or hard-of-hearing entrepreneur. Each month, these consultations will be focused on a different area of business and led by a member of our team or an outside subject matter expert.

JazMaria Boutique's Instagram grid
JazMaria Boutique's Instagram Page

This month, the owner of JazMaria Boutique and social media guru Jasmine Garcia-Freeland will be providing a one-hour remote consultation on social media. In this consultation, Jasmine will provide recommendations and best practices based on your current social media efforts and answer any questions you may have regarding promoting your brand through different social channels. Review the attached criteria to see if you are eligible, and, if you are, fill out this entry form by 11:59:59 Central Time on August 6, 2022.

Terms and Conditions

To be eligible for this giveaway you must meet the criteria listed below and complete the entry form prior to August 6th, 2022.

  • Identify as Deaf or hard-of-hearing,  
  • Are 18 years of age or older, 
  • Have an interest in starting a business, have taken steps to start a business, or have an established business, and
  • Are located in the United States at the time of entry

Additional eligibility terms apply. You can find the full terms and conditions by clicking on the "plus sign" below.

Terms and Conditions (click to view)

Official Rules 

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. 
A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. 

  1. Introduction. The CSD Social Venture Fund (CSD SVF) July Consultation Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) is a reward program with the goal of providing access to critical resources to deaf or hard-of-hearing business owners so they can accurately assess and plan for the future growth of their business. 
  1. Eligibility. The Sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the United States who: (a) identify as deaf or hard-of-hearing, (b) are 18 years of age or older, (c) Have an interest in starting a business, have taken steps to start a business, or have an established business, and (d) are located in the United States at the time of entry. 
  1. Sweepstakes Period. The Sweepstakes begins at 12:00AM ET July 26, 2022 and ends at 11:59PM ET August 6, 2022. 
  1. How to Enter. To enter the Sweepstakes, participants must fill out an entry form on our website. One entry per email address.  Your entry is valid for the current month's CSD SVF Consultation Sweepstakes only, and to be considered again for any future CSD SVF sweepstakes, re-entry is required. You are not a winner until your prize claim is validated and you receive official written notification via email from CSD SVF. By entering, you indicate your full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and to CSD SVF’s related Sweepstakes decisions, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling the requirements explained herein. 
  1. Winner Selection and Notification. On or about August 8th potential prize winners will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received for the Sweepstakes. CSD SVF will notify the winners by email with instructions on how to claim the prize between August 8th and 10th. If a potential winner does not respond and comply with the instructions in the email within fifteen days after the email, the winner will forfeit the prize and CSD SVF may award the prize to an alternate entrant, selected at random. Only 3 alternate entrants will be contacted. 
  1. There will be a maximum of 1 (one) prize awarded per month: The prize will consist of a remote one-hour consultation with you and one other member of your staff or business team, and a member of the CSD SVF team or an external subject matter expert on the topic of social media. 
  1. General Rules. CSD SVF is not responsible for: (i) electronic or digital transmissions or entries that are lost, late, stolen, incomplete, illegible, damaged, garbled, destroyed, or misdirected; (ii) any problems or technical malfunctions, errors, omissions, interruptions, deletions, defects, delays in operation of transmission, communication failures (including but not limited to failures or malfunctions of phone lines, telephone systems or other communications systems), destruction of or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries; (iii) failed or unavailable hardware, network, software or telephone transmissions; (iv) damage to entrants’ or any person’s computer; (v) causes beyond CSD SVF’s reasonable control that jeopardize the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes; (vi) incorrect or inaccurate entry information whether caused by entrants or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (vii) any typographical or other error in the advertising related to the Sweepstakes, in the administration or execution of the Sweepstakes, or in the announcement/notification of prize winners; or (viii) cheating or fraud by any participant. All incomplete or non-conforming entries will be disqualified.  
  1. Release & Waiver: By participating in this Sweepstakes, participants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless CSD SVF and its affiliates from and against any and all liability, loss, injuries or damages associated with participation in this Sweepstakes or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize received in this Sweepstakes. By participating in this Sweepstakes, participants waive all rights to claim punitive, indirect, incidental and consequential damages, attorneys’ fees or any damages other than actual out-of-pocket costs incurred to participate. 
  1. Disclaimer. None of the information or content included in this Sweepstakes, including the Prize, constitutes professional, legal and/or financial advice.  You alone assume the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other content included in this Sweepstakes before making any decisions based on such information. Consistent with Section 8 and in exchange for participating in this Sweepstakes, you agree not to hold CSD SVF, its affiliates liable for any possible claim for damages arising from any decision you make based on information or other content made available to you through the Sweepstakes. 
  1. Disputes/Governing Law. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these rules, or the rights and obligations of any entrant or CSD SVF in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions which would cause the application or the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Texas. Any action or litigation concerning this Sweepstakes shall take place exclusively in the federal or state courts sitting in Travis County, Texas, and you expressly consent to the jurisdiction of and venue in such courts and waive all defenses of lack of jurisdiction and inconvenient forum with respect to such courts. Any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Sweepstakes, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action. You agree to service of process by mail or other method acceptable under the laws of the State of Texas. ANY CLAIMS, JUDGMENTS AND/OR AWARDS SHALL BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ENTERING THIS SWEEPSTAKES. YOU HEREBY WAIVE ANY RIGHTS OR CLAIMS TO ATTORNEY’S FEES, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ENTRANT, IDENTIFIABLE PERSONS, OR THIRD-PARTY PARTICIPANTS, WHETHER FORESEEABLE OR NOT AND WHETHER BASED ON NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE. 
  1. Terms & Privacy: Participation in this Sweepstakes is subject to the CSD SVF Terms of Use located at csdsvf.com/monthly-consultations-tc. By entering this Sweepstakes, you agree to adhere to the terms, policies and guidelines described in the above Terms of Use. The personal information collected through this Sweepstakes is subject to the CSD SVF Privacy Policy located at https://csdsvf.com/privacy/. By entering this Sweepstakes, you agree to the use of your personal information as described in the above Privacy Policy. In the event of any conflict between these Sweepstakes rules and the CSD SVF Terms of Use or the CSD SVF Privacy Policy, these Sweepstakes rules shall take precedence. 
  1. Winners’ List: To view the winners’ list for this Sweepstakes visit  csdsvf.com/monthly-consultations. The winners’ list will be available after winner validation has been completed. 
  1. This Sweepstakes is sponsored by Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (“CSD”), 2028 E Ben White Blvd #240-5250, Austin, TX 78741. 

Resources for LGBTQIA+ Owned Businesses

Networking, funding, and educational opportunities are invaluable when it comes to getting your business off the ground or taking it to the next level. We’ve gathered some resources and communities for LGBTQ+ business owners that may be helpful in your entrepreneurial efforts.

This blog was last updated in June 2022.

Pride in Your Small Business: Resources for LGBTQ+ Business

Join the SBA on Wednesday, June 15th to learn more about programs and services available to assist LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with planning, launching, growing, and expanding their businesses.

StartOut

StartOut is an organization that provides crucial resources to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. Visit their website to find mentorship, funding, and event opportunities that you can use to further your business plans.

NGLCC Affiliate Chambers

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is an advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. The NGLCC has many local chapters throughout the country. By joining yours you can help promote LGBTQ+ owned businesses in your area and gain access to a strong network of entrepreneurs and growth opportunities.

NGLCC LGBTQ+ Sip & Pitch Fridays: Pride Edition

Join the NGLCC on Friday, June 24th to pitch and get feedback on your business ideas. Sip & Pitch is a chance to informally present your business to a panel of experts and your fellow business owners for positive, constructive feedback and new ideas.

StartOut Founder Scholarship

The StartOut Founder Program offers mentorship, resources, and access to experts and a community of LGBTQ+ founders. Membership costs $12.50 per month but they do offer scholarships for LGBTQ+ Founders who have been historically underrepresented.

More Resources for Underrepresented Entrepreneurs

We will do our best to continue to update this resource as we find new opportunities. If you're looking for more funding opportunities, we've compiled a list of 17 investors prioritizing underrepresented entrepreneurs. Learn more about them by clicking the button below.

CSD Social Venture Fund Invests in Heritage Brewing Company

CSD SVF partners with Lochiel Brewing, a Scottish Heritage brewery based in Mesa, Arizona

Lochiel (lock-eel) Brewing is a Deaf-owned heritage brewery whose flagship beer is made from a 300-year-old Scottish family recipe. Founder Ian Cameron is an internationally recognized, award-winning brewer and CSD Social Venture Fund’s newest partner.

Heritage, Family, and Quality Beer

This video was filmed by Seek the World in 2021. Visit their YouTube channel to find more videos like this.

Heritage beers differ from craft beers because they rely on centuries-old recipes and processes. In an industry that is crowded with thousands of craft beers to choose from, Lochiel’s products stand out for their time-tested approaches and historical origins.

“Having a product with such a unique positioning in an oversaturated market is a major competitive advantage,” Ian explained. “Our recipes and commitment to the original brewing processes set Lochiel beers apart from the craft beers that are flooding the marketing today.”

Ian’s flagship beer, Lochiel’s Scotch Ale, was originally designed as a “war beer,” a quick meal for Scottish families fighting in the Jacobite Rebellion in the mid-1700s. After the war ended, brewers transitioned to making beers for the same reasons we make them today: taste and refreshment. The recipe passed down through Ian’s family for hundreds of years until World War I, when the last brewer in the line of succession passed away. The recipe was then entrusted to Ian’s grandmother and remained in her protection for the next 70-plus years.

When Ian first discovered his passion for brewing, he knew about his family legacy and kept his heritage in mind as he learned the craft. However, he did not know that his grandmother was tracking his progress as he became a skilled brewer. Over the next 15 years, she watched as Ian developed his own new ale recipes while still honoring his ancestors by using traditional Scottish techniques. When Ian's grandmother passed away, she left him their precious family recipe, knowing that he would revive the line of brewers in the Cameron family and carry on their family tradition. The Clan Cameron “war beer” recipe became the foundation for Lochiel Brewery, which opened in 2017. By combining the skills he developed in craft brewing and modernizing historical brewing techniques, Ian brought his Scottish heritage to new territories for all to enjoy.

Partnering with CSD Social Venture Fund

CSD Social Venture Fund and Lochiel Brewing solidified our partnership in February of 2022 with the shared goal of growing the business by expanding into bottling and distribution.

Ian Cameron

“I have big plans for Lochiel. We want to expand to a new brewhouse that is capable of producing six times as much product as we do now,” Ian shared. “I had been looking for an investor to support this growth for a while but wanted a team that understood my experience as a Deaf person, which is why partnering with SVF was so appealing.”

Rosa Lee Timm

“We see so much potential for Lochiel’s expansion and we’re looking forward to seeing Ian break into regional, state, and national markets over the next several years,” said Rosa Lee Timm, President of CSD SVF. “Sharing success stories and amplifying positive Deaf representation is an important way to increase the visibility of Deaf entrepreneurs, Deaf-owned businesses, and ultimately, the Deaf community. We believe in the work that Ian is doing, and we are excited to be able to support him as he continues to grow his business.”

You can try Lochiel’s Scottish Ales at their brewhouse and several local bars in Mesa, Arizona or at Arizona’s regional Scottish festivals, like the Scottish Highland Games hosted by the Caledonian Association of Arizona’s annual event. Ian plans to expand his distribution to bars and storefronts across the state first, then into bordering southwestern states, and eventually go nationwide!

CSD Social Venture Fund has an open funding cycle, meaning we are always accepting applications for funding. We seek applications from Deaf-business owners whose business is scalable and inspires widespread impact on Deaf communities. Learn more about our existing portfolio and partnering with CSD SVF to see if this opportunity is right for you.

Top Brewery in America 2021

Top Ten Beer 2018

Top 3 Beer in Arizona 2020

Deaf Entrepreneurs: Stories that Change Perception

South by Southwest is one of the most diverse, collaborative, and inventive conferences in the world, where visionaries come together and share their cutting-edge ideas for the future. At SXSW 2022, CSD CEO Chris Soukup and CSD Social Venture Fund President Rosa Lee Timm spotlighted the importance of investing in Deaf entrepreneurs in a presentation titled “Deaf Entrepreneurs: Stories that Change Perception.”

What perceptions is CSD Social Venture Fund challenging, exactly? The view that Deaf and disabled people are less qualified, less capable, or less worthy of opportunities that are available to the rest of society. Deaf people and Deaf entrepreneurs who dare to dream big must overcome inaccessible, inequitable systems and negative misconceptions about things like costly accommodations.

In reality, Deaf and disabled people are fully capable of anything and everything. The real barrier is bias.

From Seeking Access to Seeking Equitability

CSD was founded almost 50 years ago on the principles of providing accessibility and employment opportunities for Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, hard of hearing, and late deafened people. As CSD evolves, so do its strategies. In 2017, CSD established the CSD Social Venture Fund (SVF) to invest in and support Deaf-owned businesses that are making a positive impact in the Deaf community. Our team recognized that our community needed a resource where Deaf entrepreneurs didn’t have to fight for access to opportunities to grow their business. Accessibility for the Deaf and disabled community historically translates to "let's provide accommodations for this group of people we didn't include in our plans.” CSD SVF wants to build an equitable space where Deaf and disabled entrepreneurs are seen as being as talented and as capable as the rest of the entrepreneurial community.

That is where the work we are doing at CSD and CSD SVF comes into play. We are going beyond providing access to providing equitability and leading by example. We invite you to join us.

Watch the Presentation

Watch Chris and Rosa Lee’s SXSW 2022 presentation to get an inside look at:

About the Presenters

Rosa Lee Timm joined CSD as Chief Marketing Officer in 2019. She became the Division President of CSD SVF in 2021 and has been transforming how this division supports Deaf entrepreneurs. As a self-identified BIPOC, Deaf, Queer woman from the Midwest who is also a well-known and successful entrepreneur, Rosa Lee is using her personal and professional life experiences to guide CSD SVF into new territories, including making more intentional, inclusive investments that prioritize BIPOC entrepreneurs.

Chris Soukup is the CEO of CSD and the Board Chairman of the CSD SVF. He became CEO of CSD in 2014 after working at the organization for 13 years. Under Chris’ leadership, CSD develops innovative solutions to the barriers that prevent Deaf and hard of hearing people from gaining and maintaining employment. CSD works in tandem with CSD SVF to support the hiring of deaf people, put more money into our Deaf communities, and boost financial independence.

Support the Deaf Ecosystem

Interested in supporting the Deaf Ecosystem? Visit our directory of Deaf-owned businesses to find businesses you can support through patronage or partnership.

Common Business Terms in ASL

Business jargon relies a lot on acronyms and abbreviations. We’re building a list of these terms in ASL. Below are several definitions connected to business metricscontracts, and operations.

This list will continue to grow, so if you have any terms you’d like added or clarified contact us today and we will put together an explanation.

BCP

Business Continuity Plan

A Business Continuity Plan is a document that outlines how your business will operate if there is an unplanned disruption or emergency like the owner passed away or a fire happened.

CRM

Customer Relationship Management

A Customer Relationship Management platform is a tool that lets you store customer and prospective customer information, identify sales opportunities, record purchases, and manage marketing campaigns.

KPI

Key Performance Indicator

A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that shows how well your business is achieving crucial business objectives. An example: you set a goal to get $100k in revenue and you develop steps to reach your goal.

LOI

Letter of Intent

A Letter of Intent is a document that outlines the major terms of an upcoming deal or partnership. (Ex: We’ll partner with you, we’ll invest into you.) This is an agreement to the potential scope of work that the parties will begin in the future. This is not highly detailed – the finer details will be ironed out when the parties develop an SOW for each item listed herein.

MOU

Memorandum of Understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement between multiple parties. It is not a legally binding contract but is usually the starting point of a formal business relationship.

P & L

Profit and Loss Statement

A Profit and Loss Statement is a financial document that summarizes your business’ revenues, costs and expenses.

PSA

Professional Services Agreement

A Professional Services Agreement is a contract between two parties for a period of time, for example, one year. A PSA specifies general terms, but is not project-based.

QA

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is a system or process that is used to determine if a product or service meets industry standards.

R & D

Research and Development

Research and Development are activities that companies take to innovate and introduce new products and services.

ROI

Return on Investment

Return on Investment is a measurement that is used to evaluate how much profit you will receive from an investment.

SOP

Standard Operating Procedures

Standard Operating Procedures are a documented set of instructions that describe step-by-step processes to complete tasks in line with industry or business standards.

SOW

Statement of Work

A Statement of Work means a binding agreement for both parties. An SOW defines project specifics such as the scope of work being provided, the cost of the project, and timelines. If both parties agree, we’ll sign the SOW.

YTD

Year to Date

Year to Date refers to the period of time from January 1st of the current calendar year up to the current date.