Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT Gebanah!
Four questions with Monique Hodges, Founder & CEO of Gebanah
Why did you start your business?
I'm a philanthropist who spent my professional career developing business acumen and I created Gebanah to partner those two passions. Not only are the needs of nonprofit groups expansive and often seem endless, but in business, workplace culture is responsible for 30% of a business's market value, and toxic culture is also the #1 reason employees leave companies. I saw an opportunity to broaden my service. In today’s world, a positive workplace culture is crucial to the stability of a successful business.
What is your best-selling product/service?
Business consulting services. My unique strategic alignment of mission, messaging, and people through local charitable giving has a profitable impact on business and makes a lasting impact on their internal culture. Even companies with existing ESG efforts, employee engagement, philanthropic departments, etc. With Gebanah services I focus on developing crucial revenue contributors to help businesses reach their unique and individual goals.
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
Since every client will receive a customized alignment strategy. I don't provide "one size fits all" solutions. As part of my philanthropic work, I am a Past President of the Westport Young Woman's League (the League) and Vice President of the Westport Downtown Association (WDA). Since joining the League in 2016, I have worked with over 50 local nonprofits and our grant program has given over 175 grants. This past Spring the League gave to over 25 different nonprofits including: Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post 399 Westport, Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Center for Children's Advocacy, A Better Chance Westport, LiveGirl, Positive Directions, and Westport Country Playhouse.
At the WDA, I contribute to Gebanah's counseling services and my nonprofit experience to amplify their mission of being an advocate for business owners and enhancing the community's downtown experience. This includes members of the WDA like Bespoke Studios, Cotelac, Studio Cafe, Unsubscribed, and 168 other local businesses. With the WDA we sponsor and host some of the community's most beloved events: Westoberfest, the Westport Fine Arts Festival which has been featured in New York Magazine, and Fashionably Westport- a local fashion show that raises money for Homes with Hope, a local nonprofit geared to ending homelessness.
Have you 'reimagined' your small business?
Gebanah is a new concept. Never before has an underrated factor in market value like culture been coupled with charitable giving and tied to revenue building. My services are meant to alleviate uncertainty and give time back to busy leadership teams. If they can do this with a third-party consultant vs. a staff member who is built into the system they're trying to impact, what do they have to lose?
Monique Hodges would like to nominate Bespoke Designs to be featured next!
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!