Aspiring entrepreneurs have a new source of help to launch their venture: the YWCA Lower Cape Fear’s Living the Dream Center for Entrepreneurship.
The program will focus on micro-businesses, defined by the YWCA as businesses with no more than five employees and requiring less than $50,000 to start up. The center is also available to help support growth for existing micro-businesses.
Although the YWCA’s mission is focused on women, and some of the new center's resources are targeted at minority women, the Living the Dream Center for Entrepreneurship is open to men as well and many of its classes and networking opportunities can benefit any entrepreneur, YWCA spokeswoman Grace D’Angelis said Wednesday.
“Through Living the Dream Center for Entrepreneurship, the YWCA provides classes, programs and consulting to help increase participants’ confidence and competence in the business arena,” the organization’s news release stated. “Networking events and peer monitoring will provide valuable connections.”
The center will draw on other small business resources in the community, such as the Community Development Institutions Fund and the federal Small Business Administration to help women of color raise the capital they need to start and grow their small businesses, the release stated. Both organizations offer information and use federal funds as well as private sector capital to support economically disadvantaged communities.
“The YWCA works hard to ensure that all women, regardless of their economic status, are provided access to our programs and services,” YWCA Lower Cape Fear CEO Velva Jenkins said in the release. “Living the Dream Center for Entrepreneurship is a wonderful resource for women to receive the tools and support to dream big and start or grow their businesses to become financially independent and self-sufficient.”
To showcase its new offering, the YWCA will host a virtual open house this Friday at 6 p.m. via Zoom
. Attendees will meet the business coaches and will be able to ask questions and sign up to participate in the center.
For more information on the new program, click here