Small Business Champion Encourages Thinking Outside the Box

Original SCORE article can be found here

Pictured above: Giselle Chapman, SCORE client; Monica Kang, SCORE client, founder of InnovatorsBox and 2016 American Small Business Champion; David Bobbitt, SCORE Foundation President

Pictured above: Giselle Chapman, SCORE client; Monica Kang, SCORE client, founder of InnovatorsBox and 2016 American Small Business Champion; David Bobbitt, SCORE Foundation President

by Bridget Weston Pollack 

Washington, D.C. is a city known for its power. Although it’s home to plenty of inspiring museums, it’s not usually a city known for its creativity.

Monica Kang wants to change that. She’s experienced the struggle between practicality and innovation firsthand as a former government affairs professional who felt creatively stifled.

Kang founded InnovatorsBox last year to nurture a community that empowers professionals to practice creative skills.

InnovatorsBox hosts workshops, meetups and coaching programs, providing tools and techniques for members to be creative in a supportive, encouraging community.

“It’s difficult for professionals working in traditionally non-creative industries to practice creativity,” Kang, the founder of InnovatorsBox, recognizes. “This is especially challenging in a city like D.C. where a majority of professionals work in government, international development and banking — industries where creativity is often hampered.”

She understands that not everyone can attend InnovatorsBox live events. So she figured out how to send some of the concepts from her workshops on the road in the form of a fun game.

SPARK is a deck of cards, each one printed with a question about curiosity, reflection or creativity. The set, which is manufactured in Washington, D.C., is ideal for small groups wishing to share meaningful conversation, either in work or social settings.

Kang envisions eventual growth of InnovatorsBox to foster creative communities on a global scale. She also hopes to allocate funds for scholarships for potential innovators who can’t cover the full cost of her programs.

An American Small Business Champion

InnovatorsBox was named a 2016 American Small Business Champion by SCORE and Sam’s Club. Kang will undergo a year of focused mentoring and will use a $1,000 gift card from Sam’s Club to purchase artistic materials to help her participants in their creative projects.

“Already, the online resources and webinars from SCORE have helped me immensely in navigating the waters of entrepreneurship,” Kang says.

She works with Karen Williams from SCORE’s Washington, D.C. office and recently attended SCORE’s Spring Training program for American Small Business Champion winners from around the country. Kang hopes to learn more about fostering a sustainably as the sole founder of her company.

Want to learn how your business can grow? Contact a SCORE mentor today.