My Venture

Mr. Wilson will obtain a Master of Entrepreneurship degree from Western Carolina University. Mr. Wilson served in the US Army Reserves from 2000 to 2008.

Using revenues from a composting business, Front Leaning Rest (FLR) will help small groups of one to five military veterans at a time launch their own business ventures. A non-profit organization, Front Leaning Rest will initiate the composting business through self-financing by Mr. Wilson as well as seeking funds from government grants and private donors.Front Leaning Rest will promote unemployed veteran lifestyle changes and community service through individual economic development. FLR intends to launch at least one veteran-owned business per year. Also, FLR will grow the composting business as well as create new sustaining business lines to assist veteran participants launch multiple businesses per year.

Veteran economic development operations will consist of four components: assessing participant desire and financial stability; networking and coordinating skill sets while conducting the FLR sustaining businesses; coordinating economic development and job training; and assisting participants with launching their business. FLR will partner with other local organizations to provide job training and business creation support, including the AB Tech Small Business Center and Incubator, Small Business and Technology Assistance Center, SCORE Asheville, On Track Financial Education, Mountain Bizworks, local colleges and universities, and other sources.

Once veteran participants achieve business self-sufficiency, they will be asked to assist FLR with in-kind mentoring and operational support or financial contributions.

Front Leaning Rest Presentation at American Legion Post 526 Meeting

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Front Leaning Rest: Entrepreneurship for Veterans

My social entrepreneurship venture has a working title of Front Leaning Rest (FLR). In this venture, I promote entrepreneurship with veterans. Former military personnel have many entrepreneurial traits plus leadership and organizational training that augment their inherent skills. Additionally, as a result of their service, veterans have access to many programs that can support business formation.

In this video, I present the Front Leaning Rest concept to the members attending a monthly meeting of American Legion Post 526 in Asheville, NC. This video was shot on August 16, 2011.

By the way, for those not in the know, the Front Leaning Rest is the push-up position. Not restful. You know you are about to start some hard but productive work when ordered to the Front Leaning Rest.

“Pain is Just Fear Leaving the Body, Soldier!!!”- anonymous multitude of Drill Instructors

The file size required that I break the video into two parts. For some reason the files take a while to buffer. The file type is a .wmv

FLR presentation part 1

FLR presentation part 2



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Commodity Prices on the Rise

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The impact of rising commodity prices on business.

Commodity prices are on the rise. Some industrial and agricultural products have reached record highs. Commodity prices are global so they affect all markets. These price increases can have significant impacts on businesses in both microeconomic and macroeconomic terms.

Why have prices risen?

The reasons are complex and differ among the commodities. I will mention a few factors here. First, we have the simple economics of supply and demand. For example, some of the agricultural products have suffered poor growing seasons, thereby reducing global supply. Also, the growth of emerging markets has increased demand for some commodities where supply is not able to be increased quickly, such as oil. Second, the Fed’s accommodative money supply policies play a role. Because commodities are dollar denominated, a weaker dollar can inflate commodity prices. Third, trading speculation surely has some impact on commodity prices. People trading these contracts and items want to make money and they see opportunity to test what the market can bear because global growth requires these commodities. Fourth, investor uncertainty has created a “flight to safety” in precious metals. Quite simply, people feel that precious metals and similar commodities will hold value and can be traded as currency in the event of stagnant or recessionary conditions. As I said previously, these are only a few of the factors affecting prices and they affect different commodities in differing ways. Continue reading

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Composting: Best Practices

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In some respects, composting is the easiest process in the world: you place trash in a pile and let it rot. On the other hand, composting for commercial sale involves precision activities to create a safe and effective product. Moreover, commercial composting requires coordination with many parties and constituencies to succeed. I will offer some thoughts on how I plan to conduct my business.

The Composting Process

To begin, the basic process for composting has four steps: acquiring inputs, initial input breakdown, creation of the final compost product, and product sales and distribution. The two primary components of compost are carbon and nitrogen. Compost can contain smaller amounts of many other elements and compounds to enhance its effectiveness as a fertilizing agent. These elements are found in a wide variety of sources, such as food waste, leaf litter, yard clippings, some packaging materials, and many more. Compost is really a recipe because the inputs and their proportions can make a batch of compost more or less efficacious to users. A poor recipe or process can result in insufficient input breakdown, which wastes time, or the production of hazardous wastes, such as polluted liquid run-off, that violates government standards and is costly to ameliorate. Moreover, if the final compost does not create the desired results for the end user, they will refuse to make future purchases. Therefore, while composting is a simple and natural process, creating a top-notch, value-added commercial product requires careful planning, coordination, and execution.


For a small garden or landscaping project, an individual or a few people can manage the entire composting process. On the other hand, commercial-scale compost production requires many people. In fact, several different businesses can be involved in a commercial-scale endeavor. Direct process constituents include input providers, government regulators, wholesalers, retail customers, as well as staff and partners. Ancillary constituents include the neighboring community and service providers, such as equipment repairers, grinders for large inputs, and product testing labs. Continue reading

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Local Business Leader Interview: C. Smith, Composter

Interview with Compost Producer C. Smith


Ms. Smith was a rancher and sent her manure as an input to a composter in the region. Initially, she passively learned the composting process through her interactions with the composter. She became interested in the process and started actively seeking information. She realized that she had the land space, equipment, and inputs to create compost. Also, she was far enough away from the other composter that they would not be in competition. She reached out to some potential compost buyers and learned that she could sell large volumes of final compost product to them. Continue reading

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22 The International

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If there were a market for it, would you consider entering an international market for a product/service which you offered in your own enterprise? Why or why not?

International commerce. Would you engage in it? Good question. Many businesspeople dream about becoming international moguls, expanding across the deep blue seas. With current technology, international sales are just a few mouse clicks away.

On the other hand, with current technology, counterfeiting and reverse engineering are simple, too. Unfortunately, our government agencies have not been as aggressive as possible when enforcing intellectual property claims internationally. This situation is not the fault of the agency personnel per se, but for the last century our top legislative and executive leaders in both political parties have prioritized other topics at the expense of our innovators’ intellectual property. In his book The Betrayal of American Prosperity, Clyde Prestowitz masterfully discusses this process. Continue reading

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