After a summer of hard work, the founders of the Green Pages are awaiting the release of Tallahassee’s first- ever directory this month.
The Green Pages consists of graduates and student entrepreneurs from Florida A&M University, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College.
FAMU students Jonathan Taylor, a fourth-year business administration student, serves as the chief operating officer and Mitch Brooks, 22, a graduate marketing student from Washington D.C., is chief executive officer of the Green Pages.
The idea was first envisioned in the mind of 21-year-old Chicago native Taylor. In the spring of 2005, while serving as president of Connection Business Network, a networking organization on campus, Taylor thought of creating a way for students to know about student business owners.
“Back then, I had an idea to do just a list of all of the student business,” Taylor said. “It was just a movement to bring student businesses to the light.”
However, the idea was not set in motion until Brooks approached him about the exact idea. The project seemed to be destined to come to life, they thought.
After agreeing to start the business venture, the two worked during the spring 2006 semester to find local entrepreneurs.
“We had to first seek out the entrepreneur,” Brooks said. “I had access to a lot of them being president of CBN.”
In addition, Brooks and Taylor used the Internet, posters and word of mouth to find a diverse group of entrepreneurs, but their job did not stop there. “We make sure that they’re certified and qualified,” Taylor said.
Background checks and reviews from previous customers were some of the factors included in their certification checklist, which helped narrow what was a legitimate business.
“Of 100 businesses, we developed a qualified list of 54 businesses,” he said. “In the spring (2007 semester) we will have a more diverse listing.”
The directory features businesses ranging from hair styling, graphic design, Web development, custom clothes, marketing insurance firms and a travel agency.
Mary Roger, a senior developmental psychology student at FSU, is featured in the Green Pages. The 22-year-old Fort Lauderdale native owns Mary’s Childcare Service and heard about the Green Pages from a friend. She said she was impressed with the idea.
“I think it’s very innovative; it meets the need that nobody had ever thought of serving before,” Roger said.
She said she is looking forward to reaping the benefits from Green Pages and is already happy with the service from the Green Pages.
“I think advertising was the hardest thing because of how unaffordable it is,” she said. “To have a small business, you can’t afford to place an advertisement in the Yellow Pages.”
The Green Pages’ official sponsors are the T-Mobile on 1496 Apalachee Parkway, ADL Custom Apparel, DIGITALGUESTLIST and DJ KD and KD Sounds.
Five thousand copies of the Green Pages will reach the palms of college students and members in the community free of charge. The student business directory’s Web site, www.haveuseenthegreen.com, launches Sept. 23.
Anthony “DJCLEAN” Mclean, 19, from Washington D.C., is also listed as a DJ and producer in the Green Pages.
“I definitely hope I will gain more clientele and more entrepreneurs who need producers,” Mclean said.
“If I see an increase in my clientele I will definitely keep my name in the green page directory.”
He said the directory will not only help students, but it will also help business owners network with one another. The Green Pages’ launch party will be at Baja’s Beach Club Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
“I feel as though it’s a great way for the students and local businesses to find information (about) another business,” Mclean said.