Atlanta’s female-driven co-working space and entrepreneur empowerment center Open For Business (OFB) has officially shut down. The decision to close the haven for female entrepreneurs came from the space’s owner, Atlanta-based businesswoman and public relations professional Nicole Garner-Scott.
However, it rapidly grew into a place that helped women nurture their businesses through numerous programs that groomed business owners in almost every aspect of entrepreneurial life.
Ultimately, the mentoring provided by OFB was responsible for launching approximately 50-60 businesses during its existence.
Members were privy to a variety of courses that include teaching them about finances, purchasing homes, creating balance and self-care, and having an exit plan. Throughout the space’s run, it received a lot of attention through media and events, which was used to help business owners push their brands into the spotlight.
More importantly, the environment created a sisterhood of like-minded women, venturing out to control their own destinies.
Mostly known for her reputable public relations agency The Garner Circle and her organization 100 Female Entrepreneurs, Garner-Scott has been an advocate for women in business for years.
Similar the many women she has helped, she also started off in a co-working space. Garner-Scott initially favored the environment because it allowed her to keep the cost of overhead low. However, she was also able to recognize the accomplishments that can be made through having like-minded people working in the same space.
Garner-Scott made up her mind that when the right opportunity and building came along, she would jump at the chance to create a similar space in Atlanta. That opportunity came in the form of a building that sat on the corner of Jesse Hill Jr. Drive and Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn District of Downtown Atlanta. It was just a stone’s throw away from Georgia State University where she completed her undergraduate studies.
Historically known as the “black business district” of Atlanta, and the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Sweet Auburn district was once home to a thriving community of black-owned businesses. However, lack of investment and abandonment led to its decline.
Within the last couple of years, a resurgence of interest has hit the area in the form of young black business-owners attempting to revive the area, including Garner-Scott. Today, Sweet Auburn District is home to hotspots like Sweet Auburn Seafood, Mangos Caribbean Restaurant, Sweet Auburn Curb Market, BQE Restaurant & Lounge
The building where OFB was once held will now be occupied by PolitiCoach, a political consulting group owned by Myesha Good and LaDawn Jones. Without a physical location, OFB will continue to exist online, allowing its members to have access to the same resources digitally.
As for Nicole, her new chapter will consist of her passion for financial services. The self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” has created Amount Financial, a financial services firm devoted educating people and entrepreneurs on finances.
While mentoring entrepreneurs, she found that a lot of them have a poor understanding of finances. Amount Financial will serve as the answer to this problem assisting people in profiting from their ideas, teaching them how to invest, educating them on wealth management, and aiding them in taxes and credit.
Garner-Scott hopes that her firm will aid a lot of people, millennials in particular, who are rapidly establishing businesses and accumulating tons of money through online resources.
Besides building Amount Financial, Nicole will continue to preside over her public relations agency The Garner Circle. Her national organization, 100 Female Entrepreneurs, is focusing on launching local chapters in Atlanta, New York City, and Los Angeles. The goal is to give members a personal and interactive experience within their own community.
In the meantime, Garner-Scott has relocated to Memphis, TN to test her luck in a different market. Fortunately, this is not the first time that the Atlanta native has wandered away from home.