Condall Consulting

The Urban League of New Orleans Women’s Business Resource Center has provided technical assistance and diverse business support to Condall Consulting Group, LLC over the past 5 years. Condall opened as a woman-owned engineering management & consulting enterprise by Sharmaine James in 2004. The business was re-established in July 2007, after being destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Consultants at the Women’s Business Resource Center at the Urban League of Greater New Orleans worked with the company’s owner assisting with the electronic accounting set-up and maintenance for Ms. James and the accounting staff. Accurate financial statements were prepared along with education on the required components and importance of each financial report. Our consultant worked with the organization to reconcile past years financial data for preparation of tax returns.

The substantial assistance received enabled Ms. James to begin bidding on public projects with bid proposal assistance from the Women’s Business Center staff. The company began to receive contract awards for local sewer & water projects, airport road word, other municipal water projects as well as diverse private projects.

Recently, the Women’s Business Resource Center has worked with Ms. James to diversify the company’s operations to include construction, environmental/abatement. The Center assisted Ms. James to gain access to funding to complete required training that has facilitated Condall Consulting Group to become the only woman/minority owned abatement firm in the state of Louisiana.  The company is currently pursuing work on the nearly $1B airport expansion and the half billion dollar renovation of the former New Orleans world trade center.

Sharmaine was selected one of 10 participants in the 2016 Women-In-Business Challenge and subsequently one of four finalists to present a 5-minute pitch during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.  She emerged the winner of $10,000.

Quality First Marine

Quality First Marine

Oct 14, 2015

“My Business Advisor at The Women’s Business Resource Center helped me to maximize efficiency in my business operations, which resulted in a bigger profit margin.”

 _ Christina Couvillion, President

After earning a bio-medical degree, Christina Couvillion decided on a different career path. She took over the reign of her family’s marine transportation business. She sought assistance from the Small Business Administration, and was referred to The Urban League of Greater New Orleans’ Women’s Business Resource & Entrepreneurship Center to help her with a strategic plan for growth. After conducting a full operational audit, the WBRC helped her to streamline operations, especially in the utilization of electronic accounting systems, and advised her on how to restructure the company’s assets for more impactful long-term financial gains.

Quality First Marine, a certified women-owned business entity, employs 22 local residents and owns an extensive fleet of boats and other heavy equipment. Annual revenue exceeded $2M in 2013, up 25% from the previous year and is on track for even more substantial growth in 2014.

Quality First Marine prides itself on utilizing local talent, local suppliers and other local resources, hence its motto: Quality Service…Quality People….Makes Quality First Marine.

HYPE Academy

HYPE Academy

Oct 11, 2015

My mentors at the Women’s Business Resource Center played a crucial role in HYPE’s development. I know how to teach; but, I’m still learning how to run a business.  With every major step along the way, I know my mentors at the WBRC are just a phone call away.

 _ Arianne Craig Jolla, Founder

The youngest of eight children, Arianne Craig Jolla has wanted to be an educator since the age of 9.  Arianne’s mother, a teacher’s aide along with a nurturing fourth grade teacher fostered her affinity for education. Arianne earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education. Almost immediately after beginning her teaching career in the New Orleans Public School system, Arianne became disillusioned by the pervasive brokenness she witnessed. Although not certain how she would do it, she vowed to become part of the solution to the challenges facing the children.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina not only devastated the city she called ‘home’, it also dismantled the remains of the school system of which Arianne had grown desperately weary. Upon returning to New Orleans, she found the need for her expertise as an educator had swelled. Parents needed a safe place to send their kids as they dealt with the aftermath of hurricane ‘Katrina’. Many schools had not reopened. And, those that had begun accepting students were either lackluster or so competitive that the average student was unable to make the cut. Arianne answered the call — HYPE (Helping Young People Excel) Academy Homeschool, Tutoring & Educational Resource Center- was born.

A self-professed ‘life-long learner,’ Arianne sought the services of organizations that would help her to bridge the gap between her expertise and the uncharted territory of entrepreneurship. The Women’s Business Resource Center became the obvious choice. From the very beginning, the staff went above and beyond. They took the time to understand Arianne’s needs and her vision for HYPE Academy.

HYPE Academy has grown from a home garage in New Orleans East to a 1500 sf facility. It is from this very space that HYPE Academy Homeschool has produced three high school graduates who each attend college right here in Louisiana. Since incorporating in 2011, HYPE has provided various academic services to over 300 families in the New Orleans area.  Plans for expanding the HYPE Academy brand to other parts of the state are already in the works.