Community Spotlight: 1 Million Cups – A National Non-Profit Of Business Founders Giving Back To The Freelance Community

By Sara Conde | September 13, 2021

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We all know starting a business can be exciting, but at times a lonely and intimidating journey. Since you are not part of typical employee organization and culture, you must work that much harder to find a trusted colleague to bounce ideas off, get candid feedback, or find encouragement. 

Hiring a professional coach for your business is highly recommended but potentially cost-prohibitive for those embarking on their independent journey. 

Sara Conde, MBO’s Director of Executive Advisory, volunteers to share her expertise with local 1MC chapter.

Enter the national non-profit 1 Million Cups (1MC), a national non-profit started by the Kauffman Foundation, specifically designed to help business owners grow their business and provide the opportunity to give feedback on their business challenges in a safe and supportive environment. In their own words:

Based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and engage with their communities over a million cups of coffee, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation developed 1 Million Cups in 2012—a free program designed to educate, engage and inspire entrepreneurs around the country.”


Belonging to a community is essential for new business owners to thrive. We also find that many independents are mission-oriented and looking to give back to their communities, particularly fellow founders. Bottom line, connecting with your peers is critical, particularly for independent business owners.

The need is only increasing; in our 11th annual State of Independence data preview, independent business owners are growing at an incredible rate. In 2021, the number of independent workers rose to 51.1 million, a 34% increase over 2020. 

Are you interested in giving back to your fellow independents? Find your local community chapter and share your hard-earned entrepreneurial wisdom with other small business owners. 

Are you struggling with a business challenge of your own? Apply to be a presenter to your local community.

MBO Partners is not affiliated with the 1MC organization, but we are proud to sponsor our local chapter in Fairfax, VA.

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