Lowcountry Local First’s Good Enterprises Initiative is a catalyst for reshaping the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to one that provides equitable opportunity for business ownership, in order to transform lives and communities.
The Good Enterprises Initiative launched in 2019, with the first 12-week Community Business Academy to start on September 24, 2019 on Reynolds Avenue. Class seats are limited. Scholarships are available. Complete this brief inquiry form in order to receive notice of upcoming classes and the mandatory information sessions.
A Local Challenge:
• Charleston demonstrated the 5th fastest growing gap between rich and poor residents in the US from 2011-2016.
• Median income levels for African-American and Hispanic households in Charleston County are less than half that of white households.
• There is a significant gap in our entrepreneurial ecosystem, one that provides opportunity for minority and low-income individuals to improve their lives through entrepreneurship.
A Local Opportunity:
Through the adoption of a nationally recognized and proven curriculum, one-on-one coaching, and an access to capital model, Good Enterprises will have the tools to support economic development opportunities directly in the communities that are in most need. Good Enterprises will be a catalyst for reshaping the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to one that provides equitable opportunity for business ownership, in order to transform lives and communities.
The Community Business Academy (CBA):
• The 12-week course will cover business fundamentals like budgeting, marketing, bookkeeping, and financing.
• Taught by instructors with first-hand experience as small business owners.
• Classes will be offered Tuesday evenings on Reynolds Avenue in North Charleston.
• Tuition for the Community Business Academy is valued at $3,000 per student. Thanks to our generous supporters and donors, tuition is waived for every student accepted into the program. All participants, however, must pay a small materials and registration fee towards the course. Based on your household income, your fees are calculated on a sliding scale up to $375. Additional financial aid is available for those who qualify.
Business Acceleration Services:
• Entrepreneurs can work one-on-one with a coach to set objectives, create a plan, and take meaningful steps towards accomplishing their goals and moving their business forward. Entrepreneurs participating in Business Acceleration Services will gain:
• Continuous learning through advanced seminars and master classes
• Networking and mentorship opportunities
• Procurement and sales opportunities
• Coworking opportunity at Local Works
Credit to Capital:
• We prepare entrepreneurs to connect with our network of lending partners for credit-building, business start-up, and expansion. Financial partners include Local Development Corporations, SC Community Loan Fund, Community Banks and Credit Unions, and the SBA.
• Loan Packaging: Through individualized business coaching we assist entrepreneurs to identify their best financing options and guide them through the application process.
Complete this brief form in order to receive early notice of CBA registration details. To learn more, please contact Good Enterprises Program Director, Raquel Padgett, at Raquel@LowcountryLocalFirst.org or call (843) 212-6298.
Press coverage of Good Enterprises:
– “Lowcountry Local First hopes to cultivate new businesses through entrepreneurship course” – Charleston City Paper, July 25, 2019
– “Supporting the Local Economy in our Own Backyard” – Fox 24 Charleston, July 1, 2019
– “Avenue for Change” – Charleston Magazine March 2019 issue
– “Lowcountry Local First launches business academy” – Charleston Regional Business Journal, March 5, 2019
– “Lowcountry Local First to launch new Good Enterprises Initiative in fall 2019” – The Charleston Chronicle, Feb 22, 2019
– “Lowcountry Local First hopes its Community Business Academy will help cultivate local entrepreneurs” – Charleston City Paper, February 18, 2019