GOLD2024

Economic Empowerment Foundation for Exempt Startups & Small Businesses (EEF-501c)

Pollinating Success for Exempt Entrepreneurs

aka TLLF, The Learners Lab, or The Foundation   |   Bowie, MD   |  http://501cEconomicEmpowermentFndn.org

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Economic Empowerment Foundation for Exempt Startups & Small Businesses (EEF-501c)

EIN: 45-5222602


Mission

INCUBATOR HELPS WHO OTHERS IGNORE/EXCLUDE -- 501c STARTUPS, ENTREPRENEURS & THE EXEMPT SMALL BUSINESS Economic Empowerment Foundation for Exempt Startups & Small Businesses (EEF-501c) (formerly The Learners Lab Fndn) is the small Public Foundation of an incubator LLC. that went from volunteer-to-fiscal sponsor/job trainer that is evolving into a growing pool of Natl Economic Development & Career Training Charities. Phase III started in time for the Foundations 10th-year as an official charity. Expected to launch/relaunch between 2024-25: our on-line auction fundraiser, fiscal sponsorship program, natl chamber, founders assn, impact solutions working group, federal credit union, fellowship academy, helping hand fund, a small biz market exchange, land/property donations & more.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Economic Empowerment Foundation for Exempt Startups & Small Businesses (EEF-501c) received its letter of determination granting its tax exempt status under IRS Code 501(c)3 February 2015, donors enjoy a 50% tax credit. in June 2017 Foundation was appended to reflect our original IRS Sub Charter 509(a)2 designation as a Public Charitable Foundation. In Feb 2024, the State of Maryland approved the complete change of both our parent company's original name from The Competence Group, LLC to "501c Business Incubator Council, LLC (501c BizIncCncl)," and our business name moving away from The Learners Lab Foundation to "Economic Empowerment Foundation for Exempt Startups & Small Businesses" The change articulates our intended impact & our Stakeholders Market. It also reflects our role as lead Foundation of more than 25 new sibling charitable organizations and programs. TCGs name was changed to "501c Business Incubator Council to reflect 50+ years of volunteerism & what it does.

Ruling year info

2015

Founder, CEO & Chair

Ms. JD Thomas (Smith)

Main address

6710 Laurel-Bowie Rd PO Box 609

Bowie, MD 21815 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

45-5222602

Subject area info

Educational management

Vocational education

Business education

Voluntarism

Nonprofits

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Population served info

Ethnic and racial groups

Immigrants and migrants

Economically disadvantaged people

Victims and oppressed people

Unemployed people

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Economic Development (S30)

Management Services for Small Business/Entrepreneurs (S43)

Nonprofit Management (S50)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Tax forms

Communication

Blog

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

WE HELP WHO OTHERS IGNORE & EXCLUDE, THE 501C STARTUP, ENTREPRENEUR & SMALL BIZ. EVEN OUR PEER 501c EXCLUDE/IGNORE US. EXPLAINS WHY 2015 SAW 188 REQUESTS FOR HELP THE SBA SAYS NON PROFITS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR MOST FED GRANT/LOAN PROGRAMS -- THATS THE SMALL BIZ ADMN! & NO SM-BIZ HAS 100K OUT THE GATE, EXCLUDING THEM FROM MOST COMPETITIONS. MARKET RATES FOR TECH, BIZ ASSETS ARE UNREAL, Discounts are not offered, Sponsors often impose restrictive, excessively high admin fees & revenue targets for their programs equally unreal. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IS UNEVENLY AVAILABLE, NOT EQUALLY ACCESSIBLE, RARELY MULTI-LINGUAL. 501C'S OFTEN HAVE UNPAID EMPLOYEES WORKING TO BRING REVENUE IN TO BE PAID, BUT CANNOT PURSUE PPP & OTHER ASSITANCE EVEN AS EMPLOYEES. COMPLAINTS DIDNT WORK -- SO WE BUILT OUR OWN! UNSUPPORTED, WE NOW HAVE AN ENTERPRISE OF RESOURCES INCLUDING: FCU, ASSN, CHAMBER, ACADEMY, MRKT XCHANGE & OTHER RESOURCES THESE LEGAL BUSINESSES NEED. PARTNERS WELCOME.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

FISCAL SPONSORSHIP: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR 501c STARTUP, ENTREPRENEUR & EXEMPT SMALL BUSINESSES

THANKS TO UPHEVAL IN 2017, the 2018 Fed shutdown & NO RECOVERY WHEN COVID HIT, we saw 2 things:
*resources soared
*SO DID EXCLUSIONS TO THEM FOR 501cs, ESPECIALLY 501c STARTUPS.

This reinforced our transition from Fiscal Sponsor into a Collaborative of Self-Sustaining Empowerment Charities like:
** 501c Startup & Small Business Collective: impact solutions working group forum
** National Chamber of Tax-Exempt Small Businesses: small 501cs
** Association of Tax Exempt Startups & Entrepreneurs: founders
** Podcasting Business Center podcast, training, 501cbiz market
** Helping Hand Fund: small $1 lending
** Thrift Store Finds: self-support fundraiser
** Academic Partnership Initiative: yr long internship
** A LegUp for 501c Startups: Stipend Awards for new tech charities

Our LLC parent "501c Business Incubator Council" connects to/creates/manages assets, designs programs/services/products/solutions so its charities can deliver help free/pennies on the dollar.

Partners Welcome!

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Economically disadvantaged people
Veterans
Students

The Fellowship Academy on Leadership & Business Continuity will operate EEF-501c charitable workforce training incubator & supporting programs. The Fellowship Academy is intended to be an accredited institution which marries professional development with academic education thru a series of career specific programs, a PhD for C-level Sr. Executives & much more. The VPL, our Software Lab + Training Library will host multilingual products developed in house or provided by Training Vendors, OEMs, VocEd & Adult CE Schools for use by the entire Collaborative.

The VPL will make it possible for those who cannot afford or know where to pursue needed training to access to it. EEF-501c will offer 1-yr Memberships to peer 501c startups/entrepreneurs, existing but under-funded 501cs with no training resources or budgets, qualifying under-employed & unemployed individuals, specialty groups like transitioning/reserve military & adult literacy programs.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Military personnel
Veterans
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants

Linguistic and Language Support Services | Product, Program, & Services Available in Non-English Languages
We will be delivering all our services and supports in languages other than English as demand requires.

Non-English Services will be delivered by humans speaking those languages not language translators doing instant conversions.

As demand indicates, Colleagues speaking those languages will be integrated into the Foundation Enterprise and its operations.

We have custom designed a Program & Asset Management Portal (PAMP)(the product name is proprietary and will remain confidential until it s launched) to administer our entire operations and so that our Stakeholder Users can manage their interactions or account. Even our PAMP Service Portal will be available in the Languages being support, it will not be subject to a language translation tool as is the common practice of business and government alike.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people

501c Business Incubator Council, LLC and its lead charity, EEF-501c are Chartering their own Federal Credit Union. Because they have and continue to face significant hurdles and consistent exclusions, 501c Federal Credit Union will meet the needs of new, future, and pending 501c's.

501cFCU was founded to ensure the tax-exempt segment of the business community & 501c startups specifically have dedicated banking, loan, financial management & education services offering affordable rates, fair/reasonable terms, with a safe place to deposit savings & earn dividends. Until now, 501c's-be it an org, charitable program or a project, has never received banking services customized to meet their unique needs as a business that just happens to be a tax exempt.

While we prefer our MD home as our 501c Startup-to-Small Business Market Exchange's location, our HQ will be somewhere on the US East Coast.

To stay abreast of our progress, visit www.501cFederalCreditUnion.org.

Thank you.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Military personnel
Veterans
Self-employed people

Way back in our days of volunteerism, a property was offered as a donation but with no way to accept, no assistance to acquire, or knowledge on how to do it. By the early 2000's similar offers materialized again but prior to our tax exempt status so we were not positioned to pursue.

Our target population is 501c startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses -- an ignored segment of the small business community who are our peers.

In our first 8 months of tax exemption , 67% of the 188 fiscal sponsorship inquiries we received also asked for assistance in securing property, land, buildings or all 3. We knew the capability to meet this need was essential and as part of our 10th year anniversary will see Fair Mrkt Valued Assets (FMVA)- real properties donations joining our Helping Hand Fund (HHF) small $1 lending program, the COVID delayed Battle-Buddy Grill Off (BBGO) a military housing develop program, chartering our own Federal Credit Union, and other contribution services.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

NO GOAL, PURPOSE FOR EXISTING --
EQUAL TREATMENT OF 501C BUSINESS ON PAR WITH THAT OF FOR PROFIT SIBLINGS.

WE HAD ATO CREATE OUR OWN UNIVERSE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. NOW WE HAVE IT.

FUNDING, PARTNERSHP, SPONSORSHIP AND BODIES DOING THE WORK WOULD BE NICE. ITS NOT FOR US, ITS FOR THOSE WE ARE HELPING BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IGNORE OR DENICES THEM -- ECEPT FOR WHEN THEY WANT SOMETHING.

WE'VE ACHEIVED OUR GOAL,

WHATS NEEDED NOW ARE BUILDING POLLINATION PARTNERS TO HELP US HELP OUR STAKEHOLDERS AND INVITING YOUR CONSIDERATION OF THAT.

WHAT WE'VE DONE THUS FAR INCLUDES BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO;
** BANKING == WE'RE CHARTERING OUR OWN FCU, NATIONAL OF COURSE
** B2B OPPORTUNITY -- WE HAVE OUR OUR STARTUP-TO-SMALL BIZ MARKET EXCHANGE, OPEN, BRINGING BUSINESS TO OUR MARKET OF STARTUPS AND ENTREPRENEURS
** PEER MEMBERSHIPS: WE HAVE 3 THUS FAR
** VISIBILITY -- WE HAVE A PODCASTING COMM INFRASTRUCTURE UNTIL WE GET OUR COMPLEX BUILT AND ADD THE RADIO INFRASTRUCURE DESIGNED BACK IN 2014
** ACADEMIC & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT -- WE HAVE A FELLOWSHIP ACADEMY ON LEADERSHIP & BUSINESS CONTINUITY, A MARRIAGE OF EDUCATION AND REAL-TIME BUSINESS TRAINING
** SEVERAL EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS FOR EXAMPLE, RELAUNCHING THIS YEAR IS OUR LEGUP PROGRAM WHICH MATCH STARTUPS, SMALL BUSINESSES WITH STUDENT INTERNS FROM OUR ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVE A PARTNERSHIP WITH HBCUs, MSIs, VOCEds, COMMUNITY COLLEGES LOW ON THE RATING SCALE. THE PROGRAM SHOWCASES THE WORK THEY DO, PRESENTS THE LEGUP AWARDEE TO THEIR MARKETLINES THEM UP AT FED CTA FOR SUB-CONTRACT WORK, AND FOR THE INTERN, THE PROGRAM PREPS INTERNS FOR A CAREER/POSITION WITH ONE OF OUR 30+ CHARITIES, THEIR AWARDEE-MENTOR, OR A FIRM WE PLACE THEM WITH IF AN EXTERNAL JOB PLACEMENT IS REQUESTED

THIS JUST SCRATCHES THE SURFACE...

Its How The Foundations Works That Makes The Difference

There is what can only be described as a movement now for DEI as a its gone passed the "buzz word" phase. For us that looks really odd because DEI is s given, its how our environment is and has always been structured, our products, programs, services are design and delivered.

We don't have to ask for feedback, we don't do polls to see how we're doing, we don't ask what we can do better, because that should be known, done, expected up front, in our world its not an afterthought we need to track, benchmark, keep statistics on -- it doesn't work, its not effective which is why it must be repeated.

Our Stakeholders serve and receive service so there is always a balance.
Our renounces are not coveted, they are shared and that includes the folks we partner with, vendors we purchase from, so our entire operating environment cross-pollinates which is how it should be. In essence, we've created our own little island where every business must rely on the other businesses and therefore be cooperative, respectful, fair and fair-minded, no monopolies.

We know what they need and how because we asked up front and deliver it that way, with their participation. They perspective is how programs are crafter, their shortages are the connections established, its SUPPOSED to be about what they need NOT doing as little as possible for we feel like doing.

So DEI here is no more planned than the number of times we blink our eyes -- like blinking ones eyes, it just is, doesn't require explaining, understanding, or discussion.

That said, our strategy is really simple:
a) there is no strategy, we have and use common sense, integrity which makes professionalism possible

b) ALL businesses need resources, assistance and expect a fair & truthful exchange. So we don't TELL anyone what we'll do for them, instead we ask for details in what they need, then we actually listen to what they say, then we craft what they need or connect them to it. in order to do that, we are building two pipelines -- a master directory system of business listings, open to anyone and a internal network of businesses, we call Pollination Partners who we will work with and endorse as refers to our market. Think of the Govt, to do business with us, any of the charitable orgs within our Collaborative, to serve our Members, Awardees, Participants, Subscriber or other Service-Facing Stakeholder we engage, Offerors must register for our procurement. Pollination Partner.

c) neither business or its workers can operate, progress or maintain without improvement and innovation. So we are "users & demonstrators of both improvement and innovation, and we empty our brains to all we encounter share the same. Whether its welcome, used, acknowledged, payed attention to is not our responsibility, not withholding, or shortchanging, or short cutting, and giving no less than a best effort is our only responsibility.

50+yrs expertise a long history of donating time, material, resources, and solid, peer-based partnerships. The Founder has been volunteering and working with tax exempts as a 70's pre-teen, knows this community intimately, became a consultant, made the volunteerism into charities --50+ years worth. With age capabilities evolved exponentially never meeting the demand for help, and it never becoming the "WORK" other, lazier people tend to see who preferred shortcuts, template delivery or ignoring.

That's why we've always been solo, why hiring was a challenge, which created the idea of making the services into individual charities and empowering leadership with the freedom to operate it as they pleased but still meet the Stakeholders desired result. Or so we thought, turns our people don't want to think on their feet or innovate, they prefer being told what to do, sometimes how to do, just not have much of anything to do but get paid a ton for the privilege of it -- go figure.

No worried, We're used to doing it all.

Our capabilities rely on maintaining our intent to help as needed, help those others ignore/exclude, do so the way the help is desired and having integrity in how we do it.

We trust the Like-Minded will find us!

MOST OF WHAT WE DO IS PROPRIETARY TO US, either the Foundation or the LLC -- same founder its my personal work/work products created by me, utilized exclusively by me for my charitable endeavors. As such, some will be available to licensure, some not all are either patent, trademark, copyrights pending. Where that is not the case remains the fact that much of all else done is confidential, is supposed to be confidential and couldn't be shared or articulated in this or any other format even if desired to. That is primarily because Corporate Strategies are both our and those of the organizations we help/serve -- are "supposed" to be Secret whether they are a for profit entity or not.

We have also encouraged our Fiscal Sponsorship & other Program Awardees to serve a co-awardee peers where possible to other awardees, particularly where there are like-minded interest. We have established a network of resources, such as a Technical Assistance Service Center and a Business Services Division to provide a host of products, services, and supports many of which are proprietary to Us and are not found in or offered by other fiscal sponsorship or workforce/professional development efforts, and purveyors of business products, services, assets.

Many, however been elevated to chartable organizations. So those functions will be served thru our Founders Assn, Chamber, Market Exchange, Impact Solutions Forum, and soon, we will be accepting as donations Land, Real Property Building & other hard, non-monetary assets we can pass on to entities asking for our help in securing space for their businesses to operate. We're calling it "Fair Mrkt Valued Asset," its a new program listing in our GuideStar profile.

We are in Phase 3 of our expansion restructure.

The Foundations operations will continue to be reduced as we work to recruit leaders for our new charitable entities, but we are launching with our without them by end of Summer 2024.

Federal Entitles Reneged on Their Funding/Partnership Commitments -- but we kept going anyway.

YES I AM putting them on blast. We had several setbacks in 2023 due to the Federal Govt NOT honoring its commitment, one was the SBA, which is typical, the other -- who approached us about partnering -- cant be mentioned due to an NDA, but they left their own Corp-Partner assigned to work with us for their PuP (public-public partnership) hanging a well. Cant make it up.

We've been on the receiving end of this so many times, as have with former consulting clients and others part of our Stakeholder Market that we formed a membership org specifically to deal with this as an issue.
its a impact solutions working group we host so we can resolving issues caused by legislation and politics. Visit : https://501cStartupAndSmallBusinessCollective.org.

The effects of the political charged 2015-16 environment which continued for the 2024 election cycle, 2017-18 Federal Shutdown, the 2020 COVID Lockdown, the SBA EIDL/PPP debacle continue to linger, our efforts have been delayed but not halted, those not already launched will go live in the next 12-18 months.

We returned from our interim location in Berlin, Maryland, our HubZone pursuits were a bust with the map change and the Feds dragging their feet or cancelling out each others effort. Lanham has resumed its role as our short term HQ along-side its HQ status as Fulfillment Center for our ThriftStoreFinds.Auction fundraiser, ITookTheTimeJewelry.Gallery homemade jewelry store, our LegUp & API empowerment programs, 800BlowOffSomeSteam, our biz-exec venting service, the helping hand fund, our donation acceptance website, and several other endeavors this 320 ft. studio manages their staged launch/relaunches thought the course of the year because its just me, myself and I running all them.

The Foundation, and its LLC are not one for the nonsense. Never have wasted time waiting on people, orgs, or a Govt Agency to do what they said, we just keep it moving regardless ALWAYS managing to get it done or damn near, in one way or another.

The SBA is the biggest culprit for startups & small businesses across this community, causing more problems that those it helps, we are looking for funding to formally document that as we launch our Think Tank & its Research Center later this year.

This how how we train our startups, based on how we trained execs as a management consultant way back in the day.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals, Feedback is our operation as a given so we dont have to collect data, our Clients are our Board

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, stakeholders interaction is our work, so we dont have to ask since its we do

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    we dont have challenges, your queries are built into our operations, so we dont have to ask

Financial data

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Economic Empowerment Foundation for Exempt Startups & Small Businesses (EEF-501c)

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: 2022

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Revenue
Contributions, Grants, Gifts $0
Program Services $0
Membership Dues $0
Special Events $0
Other Revenue $0
Total Revenue $0
Expenses
Program Services $3,594
Administration $11,533
Fundraising $0
Payments to Affiliates $0
Other Expenses $0
Total Expenses $30,806

Economic Empowerment Foundation for Exempt Startups & Small Businesses (EEF-501c)

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: 2022

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Assets
Total Assets $0
Liabilities
Total Liabilities $10,000
Fund balance (EOY)
Net Assets $261,000

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Founder, CEO & Chair

Ms. JD Thomas (Smith)

Game Changer, Always Ahead of Time, Always Unstoppable! What began as a Jr. High Schoolers volunteerism led to 45+ year career in consulting and ongoing volunteerism thru two Charities that continues to expand into many more. "Face-to-face, one-to-one communications on ALL matters has earned trust & respect in business and charitable endeavors. Living on both the for profit and tax-exempt side of the coin maintain credibility from living the same issues, barriers, challenges and exclusions, then sharing what's been learned as its mentored. Keen eye, instincts, alertness aids peers, colleagues, and contemporaries. Always authentic with no 3rd party use or interference, never stingy with knowledge, resources, or time, always 10000% effort given, always honest, validates with facts, and forthcoming when something is not known, within reason, or possibility.

There are no officers, directors or key employees recorded for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Economic Empowerment Foundation for Exempt Startups & Small Businesses (EEF-501c)

Board of directors
as of 06/13/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

JD Thomas (Smith)

501c Business Incubator Council, LLC & Economic Empowerment Foundation for Exempt Startups & Small Businesses (EEF-501c)

Term: 2012 -

Kenneth A. Sprang, Esq.

Washington International Business Counsel, LLP (Interim)

Saundra Whitaker-Bryant

Bryant Management Consulting (BMC) (Secretary)

Recruiting Two (2) Shared Seat

Interim Exec Director(s), Association of Tax Exempt Startups & Entrepreneurs (ATESE) & Natl Chamber of Tax-Exempt Small Businesses (NCTSB)

Recruiting Two (2) Shared Seat

Scholars-in-Residence, The Institute for 501c Entrepreneurial Economic Development, & The Council for 501c/Tax Exempt Entrepreneurial Policy Development and Inclusion

Recruiting Shared Seat

Chief Learning Officer, Charitable Workforce Training Incubator

ATESE & NCTSB Membership Seat Rotates w/CWTI Among Members

ATESE Members

CWT Incubator Seat Rotates w/Chamber & Assn Among Members

CWT Subscribers & Complimentary Members

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/5/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/30/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.