Over the last year and a half we've worked with 32 businesses in Metro Atlanta and engaged close to 1000 people through skills based volunteering, cooperative investing, mission aligned events and interactive sessions with the entrepreneurs in our programs.
Apply to be in our next cohort here!
We put the community first in all that we do, the way we teach our entrepreneurs is no different. Our cohorts are fun filled sessions that take untraditional looks at teaching business fundamentals with community immersion at heart. We have lots of students, current and future customers, community members, partner organization employees and professors involved in the classes to ensure that our participants have a really great context on how to run their business! Below are some of the results of this model.
60% of our clients are women or women co-owned enterprises
100% of businesses report an improvement in business knowledge
43% of our businesses pivot their business model during or after our cohort
39% of the jobs we help create are above minimum wage
22% of our businesses find key partners and suppliers within their cohort
50% of our businesses get contracts with sponsor or partner organizations
12% of employees hired by entrepreneurs in our cohort start their own businesses
3.6x increase in capital lent through our cooperative financing model
We work with entrepreneurs either through our small business cohort or consulting projects to ensure they are running a viable business. We then use our crowdfunding platform Villageseed.co to raise money for the business and structure the money raised into either debt (loans) or equity (shares) instruments. This allows people of the community to make actual investments into these businesses. Every quarter, as the businesses earn money, the investors do too.
What we've seen is this method creates a feeling of ownership for the residents investing in their neighborhood businesses, which makes them more likely to use the products and services of these businesses.
If you want to invest locally click the button below. If you are looking to raise some money for your business, email us on our contact page.
If you are an entrepreneur looking to apply, interested in sponsoring a class or want to volunteer or get your company to volunteer, send us an email through our contact page. Help us get the word out by following us on facebook and twitter!
Also, big thanks to our partners and Villagers that helped make this possible;
Mervis Samuels, Vice President - PNC Bank
Hakeem Atwater, Commercial Associate - Fifth Third Bank
Chelsea Wortham, Associate Account Strategist - Google
Nancy Prager, Principal - Prager Law
Kevin Gooch, Partner - Alston Bird
Lonnie Sabor, Director Small Business Development - Invest Atlanta
Cleta Winslow, Council Woman 4th district - City of Atlanta
Scooter Taylor, Content Strategy - YikYak
Taylor Harris, Marketing associate - Uber
Nancy Bistritz, Personal Solutions - Equifax
Tiffany Bussey, Director - Morehouse Entrepreneurship Center
Bonita Seaborn-Moore, Business Manager - Morehouse Entrepreneurship Center