Destination Newark surveyed business owners ranging from startups to established enterprises across a variety of industries to gain business advice for existing and budding entrepreneurs. These business owners all have one thing in common–they are like-minded in seeking a socially conscious urban renaissance. Some are CUEED certified, indicating that they have also completed training at The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers Business School.
Here’s what they had to say:

Hilda Mera and Jose Masache opened this family-owned and operated auto repair business six years ago. With guidance from the CUEED program, the husband and wife duo has made a strong commitment to paying economic development forward, especially to women. S&A provides internships to students from East Side High School in Newark and empowers women through educational workshops on basic auto repair. In a step toward social entrepreneurship, Hilda says that S&A recently began donating 20 percent of the proceeds from their workshops to local nonprofit organizations.

Secret to Success: “I would not call it a secret, but it has worked for us—always be persistent and positive no matter the circumstances you encounter in your life. Also, get involved and help the community in any way you can.”

Business Advice: “Becoming an entrepreneur means taking risks, spending many hours at work, and making a lot of sacrifices. Nothing is easy. However, with dedication and perseverance, everything is possible. Be certain that if one door closes, many others will open. And most importantly, believe in yourself and never give up.”