What is the EvMBA Class Gift Supporting?
Start:ME (Start Micro-Enterprise Accelerator Program) is an intensive 14-week business training program for promising local small businesses. Emory's Goizueta Business School partners with community based nonprofits to deliver the program to talented entrepreneurs who live in, work in, and provide valuable products and services to the local community. During the 14 weeks and beyond, the program connects those entrepreneurs to the knowledge, networks, and capital necessary to build and grow businesses.
Evening MBAs are especially in tune with the challenge of balancing complexities of work and personal life with the quest for knowledge and development, much like the entrepreneurs supported through Start:ME. As the program expands its success from Clarkston and East Lake into Southside Atlanta in 2018, we have a unique opportunity to help support some of our community’s most promising business ventures as well as strengthening the vitality of Atlanta-area neighborhoods.
Small businesses in local communities represent 92 percent of all businesses in the U.S., account for 20 percent of all private sector jobs, and provide important income to the families that own them. Promising entrepreneurs are everywhere; however, the ecosystem support that provides knowledge, networks, and capital is not. Entrepreneurship is empowering for individuals and communities. Start:ME provides the tools necessary to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses and strengthen their communities in the process. This is our chance to leave a mark!
Who benefits from the funds raised?
Start:ME offers 15-18 entrepreneurs in each community the opportunity to participate in an intensive skills-based program, meet and work with a panel of lending experts, and be mentored by a carefully selected group of volunteer business mentors. This program also pre-committed to deploy $10,000 of seed investment grants in each community annually ($30,000 in total) so that the most promising of these entrepreneurs (as selected by the participants themselves) received financial support at the end of each program. Beneficiaries (in 2016) included 130 applicants, 32 participating ventures, 34 participating entrepreneurs, and six investment recipients.
Start:ME candidates are:
- 100 percent committed to the success of the business
- Currently operate early stage businesses or are planning to launch a small business
- Committed to developing their business, serving their communities, and supporting their fellow Start:ME entrepreneurs