Last Winter and Spring, through the VilCap: Start business accelerator program, I had the privilege of meeting a very diverse group of innovative, energetic, creative, and talented entrepreneurs – jewelers, mobile beauty service providers,basket weavers, farmers, security service providers, translation service providers, wholesalers, laundry and dry cleaning service owners, grocers, cleaning service owners, soap and lotion makers, and child care service providers, to name just a few. These entrepreneurs all had a vision for business enterprises that would, both, provide economic opportunities for the entrepreneurs and their families and positively impact Clarkston and the surrounding area. The program was administered collaboratively by Social Enterprise at Goizueta, CDF: A Collective Action Initiative, Refugee Women’s Network, the Clarkston Community Center, and Village Capital.
Fifteen weeks, or so, after the program began, I saw owners of ideas become owners of businesses. I saw inspiration become determination. I saw dreams become realities. I saw people come to together to learn, to network, to share, to achieve. I witnessed a group of entrepreneurs become a community of entrepreneurs.
In January 2014, I will have the privilege of meeting a new VilCap: Start cohort of entrepreneurs with more wonderfully innovative, creative, and impactful ideas for business in and around Clarkston. If you are an entrepreneur, or if you know such an entrepreneur, I hope you will consider applying for, or will encourage entrepreneurs you know to apply for, the VilCap: Start program. There will be an information session on November 19th to learn more about the program. Applications are due by December 2nd, 2013. You can find additional information about the program and an online at www.tinyurl.com/vilcapstart.
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