7 Ways To Take Advantage Of Resources For Entrepreneurs In Your City
Getting the ball rolling to get your new business off the ground can be challenging— and even more so when you’re not sure where start when it comes to resources.
This December, team ESSENCE is partnering with Target to bring the first-ever ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneurship Summit And Target Holiday Market to Atlanta. In anticipation of this premiere holiday shopping and entrepreneurship-building event, we’re excited to spotlight a few local businesses in the Atlanta area who are on track to take the city to higher heights as we enter a new decade.
As the only municipally funded initiative of its kind in the nation, The Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) provides office space, programming and other development resources for women-owned businesses to synergize entrepreneurship and job opportunities for women in Atlanta. WEI incubates early stage startups with a proven business model focused on market entry and growth. If you’re an aspiring or rising entrepreneur in the ATL area, you’re in luck! Applications for the WEI2020 cohort are now open. For more information and to apply, click HERE.
Scroll through for a few tips from WEI Executive Director Monica Hooks on how entrepreneurs can take advantage of local resources and join us to hear from more phenomenal Black women entrepreneurs at the ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit, December 13 – 15 in ATL. See you there!
Learn About Alternative Funding Sources
"Don’t have a Friends & Family option to start your business? Instead of credit cards, explore pitch competitions, grants, and low interest loans," Monica says. "Fun Fact: Did you know that Google got started with a grant from the National Science Foundation?" If you're in the Atlanta area, resources include: Invest Atlanta Small Business Loans; University Grants “Georgia Research Alliance”; Federal Grants Small Business Innovation Research; Atlanta Startup Battle; HBCU@SxSW; and Startup Runway ·
Take A Course
Need help with your business plan? Stuck on how to expand your business more digitally? Don't be afraid to take it back to school! Check out local universities in your area to price out offerings for a business course focused on entrepreneurship or even consider enrolling in an online course that will help you brush up on the skills you'll need to take your business to the next level.
Participate In Entrepreneurship From A Community & Civic Perspective
"It helps to keep it all in perspective," Monica says. "Remember “You don’t need to save the world; You do need to make a difference.” If you're in the Atlanta area, local resources include: Center for Civic Innovation; Echoing Green ; Goodie Nation; iVilliage @ MLK; and Smart Cities.
Ask Your Bank About New Small Business Loan Offerings
With entrepreneurship on the rise in communities across the country, many banks are expanding their small business loan offerings to meet the demand. Check in with your bank and other banks in your area to find out about any new (and possibly untapped!) resources they may have added that you may not be aware of to see if you qualify.
Get Involved With An Incubator Or Accelerator
"Ideally these programs provide guidance, leadership development, and business resources," Monica says. "At the very least, they provide a great jump start to creating your “business hustle” network." If you're in the Atlanta area, local resources include: Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative; LaunchPad2X; Ascend2020; #ittakesavillage; Atlanta Technology Development Center (ATDC); Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (RCIE); and The Farm at Comcast/Universal.
Students looking at notice board
Leverage Intellectual Capital From Local Colleges & Universities
Students at all levels - undergraduates, masters and PhDs can help you grow your business significantly," Monica says. "Tapping into the intellectual capital at globally recognized institutions for internships, technical development, and business strategy can give your company an early competitive advantage." If you're in the Atlanta area, local resources include: HBCUvc @ Atlanta University Center , Emory Impact Investing Group @ Emory University , Capstone Program @ Georgia Tech University; Startup Exchange @ Georgia State University; and Students to Startups program @ Invest Atlanta .