Welcome to our Spark! Meet the Founder series, where we introduce you to the amazing entrepreneurs who are participating in our 2022 Fall Spark! program with a quick Q&A!
Spark! is a small business accelerator that puts the right people, opportunities, and access in place for local entrepreneurs in Arkansas to take their ventures to the next level.
Please meet Will Tidwell, founder of Speak Up Zee, a hybrid company that focuses on social impact, communications, media, and business consulting.
The Venture Center: Tell us about Speak Up Zee!
Will Tidwell: Birthed in the year 2015. SpeakUPZee, LLC is a hybrid company focusing on social impact, communications, media, and business consulting. SpeakUPZee makes a conscious effort to forge relationships with like-minded community organizations, non-profits, creatives, and entrepreneurs to provide them with the necessary tools, services, and resources needed in order to be successful and share their vision with the world.
Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur?
SpeakUPZee, LLC was created for very selfish reasons to be quite honest. My only goal was to find a way to monetize the gifts in which I knew I had been blessed with. But, once I was able to get into the thick of what SpeakUPZee has built and we served so many families, mentored so many youth, and helped impact so many lives/platforms .. I fell in love. So, in a way SpeakUPZee came about by accident, but the happiness and freedom it brings our community, our partners, and myself has made it something I will work to make last as long as possible.
What are your biggest challenges as a business owner?
Time! It seems as if you never truly have enough of it, and no matter how productive you are – it always feels as if you could be doing more. In addition, the toll being a business owner can take on you from a mental standpoint is something that isn’t talked about enough. The failures, the lonely nights, the days you’re barely making it, the moments you question your abilities – nobody talks about the impact that can have on a person.
What do you hope for the future of your business?
Our main focus is to become even more structured internally and finetune our processes inside and out. It is so easy for us to do that for our clients but sometimes even professionals need another professional’s point of view and expertise. We want to expose our flaws, own our mistakes, and become better in those areas so we can ultimately be better for the ones in which we serve a day in and day out.
What are you proudest of so far?
The impact we have been able to make completely on our own. We have been able to serve a whopping 100,000+ men, women, and children with our own programs, initiatives, and partnerships. Money, accolades, and awards are amazing, but knowing we were able to be of service is priceless.
What do you hope to gain from Spark?
A different perspective. Real, raw, unbiased, and truthful advice, guidance, and steps on how to grow and become one of the best companies there is. Being able to truly see the impact and importance of mentorship and coaching, and being able to build a network/bond with other like-minded individuals. That is what I am most excited for!
Huge thanks to Will for participating in Spark! We can’t wait to see your business grow!