Podcast Episode: Navigating Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) with Dr. Malcolm Muhammad


Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) help people who want to start or grow their businesses. These organizations provide various resources such as advice, training, and funding. They might also offer workshops, mentorship programs, or networking events to connect entrepreneurs with experts and other business owners. In this episode of the Extraordinary Pursuits podcast, Dr. Malcolm Muhammad joins BIP Ventures to talk about how support communities for entrepreneurs are evolving and what it means for anyone considering or working on building a new business. He explains the ESO model and identifies the ways they can help (or hinder) entrepreneurs as they overcome challenges and succeed in their ventures.


  • [00:01] Intro and what is in for you in today’s show with Malcolm Muhammad
  • [02:08] Malcolm’s entrepreneurship background and as VP @ the Russell Center
  • [05:52] What the Russell Center is doing to empower entrepreneurial growth
  • [11:15] Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESO) to network with entrepreneurs
  • [13:35] The prevalence of ESOs in different countries
  • [17:04] Components of an ESO and how founders can know the most useful components
  • [19:49] What it means to be an accountable entrepreneur with the availability of ESOs
  • [25:00] Tips to maintain accountability in entrepreneurship
  • [33:09] Is entrepreneurship drive innate or learned through ESOs?

Points of Wisdom:

  • “Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESO) as the name suggests, exist to support businesses. They are not there to do it for you or give you ideas or strategies. It is your job as an entrepreneur to ensure that you are leveraging that support.” [23:07]
  • “Enjoy solitude as an entrepreneur. It gives you time to reflect because entrepreneurs are always on the go all the time.” [26:46]
  • “Entrepreneurial drive is about seeing the circumstances around you and deeply believing that it should be different.” [33:14]

About Dr. Malcolm Muhammad:

Dr. Malcolm Muhammed is vice president of engagement and outcomes at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE). It is an economic mobility engine that provides black entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources needed to innovate, grow, and build wealth. In his day-to-day work, Malcolm focuses on his efforts and experience in unlocking the full potential of the RICE community of entrepreneurs and managing a powerful evidence-based framework for scaling black businesses.

Listen to and watch this episode and other episodes of the Extraordinary Pursuits podcast.

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