Cedric Fonville owns his own photo and video business (NICE Inc) and also serves as chief of staff at a nonprofit, Interform, which provides arts and fashion-focused programs and services. Cedric is passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed and believes everyone has the potential to be an entrepreneur. He loves being an EforAll Northwest Arkansas mentor and helping make a difference in entrepreneurs’ lives.

What made you want to become a mentor?

I love entrepreneurship. It’s a chance to be excited again about the work that you are doing or getting ready to pursue. As exciting as it is, it does come with a lot of challenges. Mentorship allows me to give back in ways that others have supported me in my journey as a business owner. It also teaches me new things, allows me to connect with mentees and peers as mentors, and excites me to see someone going after their dream business.

Can you give us some examples of the kinds of startups you have mentored with us?

Through the program, I’ve mentored a photographer as well as an apparel brand looking to sell hair bows and related products.

What is your favorite part of being an EforAll mentor?

I enjoy the environment and community of entrepreneurs coming together to be a part of a supportive network. When you surround yourself with people who have similar similar ambitions and people who are happy to help you, it reinvigorates you to push through all of the challenges to accomplish the goals you’ve established for yourself. EforAll possesses all of these characteristics.

What do you think makes EforAll special?

EforAll is special for a couple of reasons. It’s a nonprofit organization that isn’t looking to sell services directly to the entrepreneur in need of their services. This keeps the focus on providing value to them rather than trying to retain and recruit new customers. Some participants are even awarded money to grow their businesses. Secondly, the program supports historically underserved communities with valuable resources that will allow them to be more competitive. This is significant because statistics show they will face more challenges than their more-represented peers in business.

What advice would you have for entrepreneurs?

Go for the thing that you’ve been holding back on. You’ll regret not trying more than the idea of trying and not succeeding. Do that, but don’t try to do everything on your own. Find peers, mentors, and supporters to help you get through the hard times and to celebrate the successes alongside you.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Learn more here.