Totally Giving Back

Totally Giving Back: OPERATION: SEED, INC.

Giving Back Picture Operation: SEED

A North Carolina charitable organization is giving young entrepreneurs the resources they need to launch small businesses straight out of high school.

OPERATION SEED (Supporting Emerging Entrepreneurial Dreamers), INC. was founded two years ago by Executive Director Bernadette Potts. Its purpose is to “engage, encourage, educate and empower” students from Guilford County, especially those in Title 1 schools, who do not plan to enroll in college but wish to pursue entrepreneurship after graduation.

“Our mission is to provide opportunities, resources and mentorship to help position these young people so they can soft launch their small business venture,” Potts said.

Sowing seeds for future business leaders

The nonprofit organization covers the cost for young adults to participate in short-term business education classes. The young men and women chosen for the program are gifted with a laptop to access learning platforms and to create an online presence for their business via developing a website, social media channels and other marketing mediums.

After the OPERATION: SEED, INC., team reviews and approves an applicant’s business plan, they invest $500 into the venture to cover the purchase of items, fees for equipment and other expenses needed to launch the business.

Two of three 2023 graduates completed the online business education program, Entrepreneur Bootcamp, offered by local community college GTCC, with LERN (Learning Resources Network). OPERATION: SEED, INC. leaders will stand by to support the candidates as they take their next steps into the business world, Potts said.

Teaching life skills for success

One of the organization’s biggest achievements to date has been engaging with about 100 high school students in the Northeast Guilford High School classes of 2023 and 2024 through life skills workshops.

“We definitely count it a blessing just to make a connection with this generation as they prepare for their next season as young adults,” Potts noted. “We have the pleasure of sowing into their lives through showing up, being present, listening, sharing, learning together, offering light meals and snacks, and gifting them with school supplies and other items that we hope expressed to them that we see them, they matter, we care and we need them and their uniqueness they bring to this world.”

The life skills classes utilize individuals from the community who speak on topics such as finance, career exploration, mental health, nutrition and leadership.

OPERATION: SEEDS, INC. continues to grow

Potts said the team’s recent participation in the YMCA Healthy Kids Day event confirmed how important their program is to many in the community. A contact made that day by Teresa Gilliard (Board Chair) to an invitation to engage for the first time at an upcoming Cone Health event on June 29, 2024.

Totally Promotional donated 100 water bottles that Potts’ team will distribute at the “Building A Better You” Health and Wellness Community Event at the Corbett Sports Center in Greensboro in June.

In 2023, the Cone Health Foundation awarded OPERATION: SEED, INC. a $10,000 grant as a new nonprofit assisting residents in the Greensboro, N.C., area.

“Participating in Cone Health’s event (in June) will be a full-circle moment for our organization,” Potts said.

Other board members besides Gilliard who contribute to the organization's success are Denise Little, Ebony Gilliard and Chandler Price.

Totally Giving Back is a program supported by and its staff to help individuals and groups in need. We believe it is important to give back to our local communities and spread hope to others around the world.

Learn more about Totally Giving Back and how the team at is making a difference.