Meaningful Change Requires Purposeful Action
With 1-4 employees, microbusinesses may be individually small, but collectively create a big impact accounting for 7 million U.S. jobs and more than $350 billion in total payroll. When successful, microbusinesses generate income for entrepreneurs and their families while at the same time build neighborhood vitality.
Start:ME Accelerator Program
Start:ME is an intensive 14-week accelerator program that provides the most promising micro-entrepreneurs (those starting businesses with 1-4 employees) in marginalized metro Atlanta communities business training, mentorship support, and early-stage financing needed to develop their businesses.
Start:ME has been working in the Clarkston community since 2013, expanded to Atlanta's East Lake neighborhood in 2015, and most recently launched in the Southside neighborhood in 2018. The program conducts sessions weekly each spring (January through April) working with 15-18 promising micro-entrepreneurs in each community. The program is delivered by Goizueta Business School with lead community partners Friends of Refugees, East Lake Foundation, Focused Community Strategies (FCS), and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta. The program has served 257 ventures, 84% of which are owned by people of color.