The GROW program at Bounce supports both aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs as they bring their ideas to life. The program focuses on minorities and women. Shanisha Collins is a graduate of the sixth cohort of the MORTAR at Bounce program, our 15-week business accelerator. Currently, she is in our Next Level Business Incubator.
As the founder of the Maid Experience, Shanisha Collins has participated in several business programs, including online programs with participants from throughout the U.S. and beyond.
Locally, Shanisha is a graduate of Bounce Innovation Hub’s MORTAR at Bounce program, a 15-week accelerator for established small businesses. She has also found support through Kent State University’s LaunchNet. Through these types of programs, she has found a network of local entrepreneurs that’s been both a resource for her and an opportunity to share her expertise and support other entrepreneurs.
“I’m a connector. Being part of programs like MORTAR at Bounce have allowed me to build my network right here in greater Akron,” said Shanisha. “ I look forward to meeting with other entrepreneurs and helping to point them in the right direction.” Since graduating from MORTAR, she has joined Bounce’s Next Level Business Incubator, broadening her network further and adding one-on-one support from an entrepreneur in residence to help scale her business.
Along with residential cleaning services in Portage, Summit and Cuyahoga counties, the Maid Experience provides commercial and post-construction cleaning. Shanisha has also found a niche in student housing and is currently bidding on contracts with universities throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“We’re gearing up to increase our foothold and become the leading vendor for student housing,” said Shanisha. “We are also learning more about the bidding process for federal and municipal contracts for post-construction work.”
As her business grows, Shanisha is focusing her business on three key areas:
- People – ensuring staff feel valued and empowered, and creating a clean and safe environment for clients, so they can focus on more important aspects of their lives.
- Technology – leveraging online tools so clients can easily and conveniently request and schedule services, check real-time availability, obtain estimates and make payments while maximizing operational efficiencies to support the Maid Experience’s continued growth.
- Community and environmental impact – prioritizing using green cleaning products and strategically planning routes and drive times to reduce environmental effects. This is also the charitable arm of the business to help those in need.
A strong desire to give back
Shanisha also finds multiple ways to give back to her community; a desire that is inspired by her experiences as the mother of a premature infant who spent the first five months of his life in a neonatal intensive care unit. Now she’s working to connect with families with hospitalized children who could benefit from free cleaning services to help alleviate that burden during an incredibly stressful time.
Shanisha also serves as a mentor, facilitator and subject matter expert for new MORTAR at Bounce cohorts.
“It’s important for entrepreneurs to network and surround themselves with other entrepreneurs because sometimes their family members and friends who aren’t entrepreneurs don’t understand what they are going through,” said Shanisha. “There are so many local resources, like Bounce, available to help, so I always encourage entrepreneurs to tap into these resources. They will save you time and trouble. You do not and should not have to do it alone.”
About the author:
Jill Wodtley, APR, is a freelance writer and owner of Fine Point Public Relations and Advertising. An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, she develops and implements marketing communications, public relations and advertising initiatives for a variety of clients, ranging from health care and social service agencies to industrial/manufacturing firms.Shani