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Apr 25

Business Ownership 101

Hosted by Indy Maven

Event Details

Tuesday, April 25, 2023
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Maven Space
433 N. Capitol Ave. Ste. 100 , Indianapolis, IN 46204

Event Description

Aspiring entrepreneurs join us as Indy Maven kicks off a quarterly event series with the Indy Chamber. At this first event, moderated by Keia Walker, the Chamber’s Senior Director of Lending, attendees will hear from two of the BOI’s clients whose journeys to success were supported by the Chamber’s services.

Guests of the event will also have the opportunity to engage with the Chamber team, get information about BOI and other initiatives and network with attendees. Register here to secure your spot at this must-attend event for Indy entrepreneurs.

Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) is the lending arm of the Indy Chamber’s entrepreneur services division. BOI is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a microlender through the Small Business Administration (SBA), BOI provides micro-loans to clients who may not qualify through traditional lending organizations. In addition to microloans, BOI clients have access to free coaching, resources, and business education. These tools, alongside access to capital, help ensure small businesses have a holistic set of resources to help them succeed at every stage of their entrepreneurship journey. To learn more about services offered through BOI, please visit

About the Moderator

Zikeia (Keia) N. Walker is the senior director of lending with the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce where she leads the Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). A finance professional with a broad knowledge of experience, Keia has a passion for ensuring entrepreneurs and small businesses have access to knowledge, capital, and resources to support them at every stage of business growth.

Keia’s work is driven by a means to create real change in the community by advancing Black and Brown entrepreneurs through relationship-building and knowledge-sharing. During the 2022 pandemic, Keia led the Indy Chamber team in pandemic response, loaning out over $22 million in Rapid Response loans and supporting over 2,000 businesses across the Indy Region. This achievement eventually led the Indy Chamber to secure designation as the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives’ (ACCE) 2021 Chamber of the Year—a national designation.

Prior to the Indy Chamber, Keia served as the senior lending assistant at LiftFund, which at the time was the third largest microlender in the country. During her tenure, she was a top producer for her market specializing in SBA 7A Community Advantage loans and 504 loans along with a host of other lending products.

About the Guest Speakers

Cynthia Randolph-Vaughn: Over the past 16 years, Cynthia has developed and operated six early learning facilities in Indianapolis, including her current nationally accredited program – Cindy’s Center for Young Learners, located in the historic Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood of Indianapolis. Her second location - Sprout Early Learning Academy - will open in mid-April 2023 inside the vibrant and historic Broadway United Methodist Church, also in Mapleton-Fall Creek. She has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and completed the National Director’s Credential in 2012 from the University of Southern Indiana through a TEACH scholarship. She is Vice President of the Central Region of the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children, a member of the National Association for Family Child Care, and also a member of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. She is passionate about providing high-quality learning experiences to students, supporting their families, and advancing the field through mentoring and advocacy. Despite her years in the business, she feels like she is just getting started.

Von Watts is the founder, marketing and creative strategist behind 8393 Creative a digital marketing and creative studio servicing entrepreneurs and small business owners and CEO and founder of Yep We Design Foundation Inc. a creative nonprofit organization empowering youth through creativity, character building, and entrepreneurship. Von is also the owner and co-founder of Persona Apparel an urban clothing brand encouraging people to be themselves, and owner of Eat Like Me Von, a food vlog sharing her love of food, family, and fun.

Von holds an associate degree in Graphic and Web Design and a bachelor’s degree in business management, with over 10 years of experience in branding and marketing, as well as over 12 years of experience in business management. Driven by her passion to help other succeed, she helps her clients develop the thinking skills necessary to be effective, competitive and relevant in their marketplace by working one on one with her clients from strategy to implementation.

Von has had great success with major brands like, Volkswagen, Catchings Enterprise, Mid-States MSDC, George Hill Rising Stars, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Grand Park, Sony Music, and Ryan Hunter-Reay Racing for Cancer.

When not working, Von enjoys cooking and eating up a good seafood meal, sharing her recipes, gaming and spending time with her family and close friends.