Priscilla Archangel was enjoying a decades-long career in human resources and organizational development, but the pull of entrepreneurship wouldn’t let up.
Having formed an LLC long before she ever used it, she eventually fulfilled her vision to create Archangel & Associates, a coaching and consulting firm.
“Ever since then I’ve been really, really ecstatic about what I do, and that is developing successful leaders,” she recently told WXYT radio host Mark Lee.
Archangel’s self-described “leap of faith” into business ownership is just one of the numerous experiences shared on “Small Talk with Mark S. Lee,” which airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on WXYT 1270 AM and is streamed on cbsdetroit.com
With a focus on encouraging, inspiring, and exploring small business development in Detroit, Lee’s broadcast has been a resource for Archangel and countless other entrepreneurs and would-be business owners since it first hit airwaves in 2014.
“I find it a good, accessible discussion of topics, and by ‘accessible,’ I mean it’s hard sometimes for people to get into some ultra-serious topics,” Archangel says. “His style makes it interesting, it makes it light, and it makes it understandable.”
“Small Talk” has featured interviews with hundreds of business owners, including the occasional corporate representative who chimes in on the significance of Detroit’s fast-growing entrepreneurial scene. Lee says lots of work is kept in metro Detroit because large companies often rely on independents and start-ups as suppliers and distributors. Without those local small businesses, corporations would be forced to find suppliers outside the region.
“The majority of people being employed are employed by small businesses,” Lee says. “Big business and what’s happening in downtown is great, don’t get me wrong, but big businesses use small businesses to support them.”
Detroit has 62,000 small businesses, he says.
“Imagine each of them employs two staff members. That’s more than 100,000 people,” he adds. “That’s a lot of job generation.”
More now than in decades past Detroit is a magnet for entrepreneurs and business incubators. People and programs eager to brand new ideas and stake a claim in the local market are recognizing the community’s potential.
“What I do is provide a forum for entrepreneurs and other business owners to tell their stories,” Lee says. “That’s the mission of Small Talk.”
Lee credits TheHUB Publisher Jackie Berg for the origination of the Small Talk concept and column, which first appeared in a local newspaper in 2009. It delved into such questions as how entrepreneurs began, what challenges they’ve overcome, and what strategies they’ve developed. Before Lee found a radio audience, the column evolved into an online blog he still writes for Crain’s Detroit Business.
When TheHUB began publishing in 2015, “Small Talk” was one of its early collaborators. The two outlets have cross-promoted each other’s messages about revitalization through business and community empowerment.
“This type of effort is reflective of the power of collaboration and the respective growth that like-minded entrepreneurs can leverage when they work toward a mutually beneficial goal,” says TheHUB Publisher Jackie Berg. “Mark and I have both grown our respective business interests, while elevating the attention level given to small- and minority-owned businesses.”
The show’s function, Lee says, is to emphasize the role entrepreneurs play in Detroit’s ongoing revitalization.
“Detroit is hot right now, and it’s great to be able to say we’re one of the media tools serving it,” he adds.
Editor’s Note: Mark S. Lee also owns and operates The Lee Group . Small Talk can be heard on Sundays on WXYT 1270AM at 8 a.m. and streams on CBSDetroit.com
Photos by Paul Engstrom