Atlanta Programs & Projects

Micro-Entrepreneur Accelerator Programs

START:ME, a 14 week accelerator program, works to unlock the true economic potential of communities (geographically defined neighborhoods and defined metro-wide groups) by providing the most promising micro-entrepreneurs (businesses with 1-4 employees) the business knowledge, network access and early-stage financing needed to develop their businesses. These businesses generate income for entrepreneurs and their families while at the same time build community vitality.

Since 2013, Social Enterprise @ Goizueta has worked with CDF – A Collective Action to use the Village Capital model of peer-driven enterprise acceleration to support micro-entrepreneurs in the Clarkston, Georgia community.  In 2015, START:ME will expand to support more entrepreneurs in East Lake (City of Atlanta) via a new partnership with the East Lake Foundation.

To close the biggest gaps in business thinking, our micro-entrepreneurs work with hand-picked content providers and business mentors on the following topics:

  • Understanding Customers” which helps each entrepreneur develop a customer-facing value proposition;
  • Developing Effective Business Plans” which helps entrepreneurs understand how to plan for customer development and resource deployment;
  • Developing Coherent Financial Plans” which allow entrepreneurs to demonstrate the economic promise of their ventures; and
  • Navigating Legal Issues” which introduce entrepreneurs to legal issues and to pro-bono sources of legal assistance.

Thanks to the generosity of START:ME program supporters, $30,000 in low-interest business loans are provided to the three most promising entrepreneurs in each cohort – as selected by program peers, and not by an expert panel of lending experts.

The 2013 START:ME (VilCap:Start) Clarkston program was the subject of the Emmy nominated documentary, The New Entrepreneur: Odyssey for a Dream, which aired on Georgia PBA 30.

To learn more, please visit startmeaccelerator.org

Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative (AWBI) Projects

In the summer of 2013, SE@G conducted a feasibility study for our client and partner, AWBI, to determine whether (and then how) to build a lettuce production and processing facility in an underserved Atlanta neighborhood; one that would create jobs and wealth for community members. The plan was presented to community leaders and funders in October 2012 and is now being implemented by AWBI.

Catalyzing Social Impacts Class Projects

Our 2014 projects include:

  • Researching and developing a micro-franchising business model for CARE.
  • Designing a 10 year anniversary give-away of 50,000 books to an Atlanta community for Better World Books, based on data analysis.
  • Developing a plan for growth in the institutional market for The Turnip Truck, a farm-fresh, independent foodservice distributor in Atlanta.
  • Developing a sustainable plan to transition patients from the hospital emergency room to a community-based health clinic that provides subsidized dental care in a non-emergency setting for Emory's Urban Health Initiative.

Previously, in 2013, a team of 6 BBA students evaluated the feasibility of a mattress recycling business for our partner, Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative (AWBI). MBA students worked with Truly Living Well (TLW) to develop a plan to measure and communicate TLW's social impacts to facilitate fundraising and with Better World Books to collect and analyze information about their socially-oriented customer segment.