Read the Top Excerpts of Quentin’s Interview

Last Wednesday, our new CEO and President Quentin Strode appeared on First Things First with Dominique DiPrima, a talk radio show on KBLA. Quentin shared some of his experiences and wisdom as a business owner and real estate developer for small businesses in the South Los Angeles and Greater Los Angeles area. Read on to see our choice excerpts from Quentin’s interview and watch or listen here: 

Quentin Strode’s Interview on First Things First with Dominique DiPrima

“Vermont Slauson is one of the most important Black organizations in the state.”  

Strode supplemented his comment with some of Vermont Slauson’s work, such as continuing real estate development through working with small businesses in the community. These small businesses help create jobs in the community.  

Strode said, “[VSEDC] can change the face of Black Los Angeles, and Los Angeles in general.”  

The Mission of the South Los Angeles Best Buy Teen Tech Center  

Going through the process with the students at the BBTTC and getting to the final pitch competition usually yields student-created technologies or innovations that have legs. The question then becomes, according to Strode, how to help create capital for these kids.  

The programs at the South LA Best Buy Teen Tech Center give teens an advantage on their college applications, as well as an opportunity to come up with a business that’s community-focused.  

Vermont Slauson Technical Assistance for Small Businesses  

Strode listed the many business assistance programs that VSEDC has to offer.  

“Our Watts and South Los Angeles Business Source Centers are places for startups and small businesses looking to scale or for access to capital.”  

“Our CEO Series is [structured like] a conversation around business leaders, with a mentorship-type approach.”  

“Mastermind [brings] like businesses together to overcome like problems.”  

“We also work with businesses on government contracting and we are an emerging CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution). We make the loans that banks struggle making.”  

What are the most common mistakes that small businesses make?”  

When Dominique DiPrima asked this question, Strode gave the following advice:  

“Not planning and not having enough capital to complete the original idea. Something always goes wrong, [it’s about] generating enough revenue to create a cushion.”  
Strode quoted former CEO and President Joe Rouzan for his closing comments: “There’s the same ingenuity in our community as there is in any other community; the next billionaire could come from South LA.”  

To learn more about VSEDC’s programs and business technical assistance, check out our website: