‘It was an opportunity in disguise’: More Triad entrepreneurs launching businesses amid pandemic

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — Mid-pandemic, physical therapist Lauren Stubbs decided to launch her own business in September 2020.

“There were a lot fewer PT jobs than typically available, instead of trying to find a job or getting a job that wasn’t the best fit, I decided to start my own job and create the best fit for me,” she said.

Stubbs launched Stubbs Mobile PT, a concierge cash-based physical therapy model to provide care at home or work. She also offers telehealth and virtual sessions.

“It’s really started to pick up as more people are relaxing and more people are vaccinated. They’re feeling better about getting out there and being a little more economically ‘spendy,’” she said.

Stubbs is one of at least 120 people working with Launch Greensboro, a branch of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce helping entrepreneurs start or grow their small businesses.

“We had a 45 percent increase in applicants and participants,” said Lou Anne Flanders-Stec, executive vice president of entrepreneurship.

Typically, the organization works with about 80-90 people.

“We saw a very large increase in companies that were starting, and I think it was a lot of entrepreneurs saying, or what we call nascent entrepreneurs saying ‘Holy cow why don’t I do it? I’m working from home, I’ve got this capability.’ In that process we developed a program called Furloughed to Entrepreneur,” Flanders-Stec said.

Dennis John said Launch Greensboro assisted as he pivoted his business Without Exception late last year.

“Pivot was the name of my entrepreneurial journey,” he said. “When I started with Launch Greensboro, I was focusing on leadership development, but I was focusing in youth sports to help coaches develop leadership skills, but after COVID sports stopped. Looking back it was an opportunity in disguise.”

The startup helps local companies meet their diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

For others considering a launch of their own, John offered this advice:

“Fail fast, don’t be afraid to fail, and pivot when you need to,” he said. “My only regret looking back is I didn’t do it way sooner.”

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