We met with the Alliance for Community Development who is doing extremely innovative work in supporting entrepreneurs. For the last 6 years, the Alliance has been providing cohort-style mentorship to small business owners from diverse backgrounds in the Bay Area with a program called PROPEL. Since PROPEL launched in 2008, 7% of the graduates crossed $1 million in revenue which is at least three times the national average for women and diverse business owners. (Forbes April, 2015)
Often, getting the word to entrepreneurs is the only thing keeping them from accessing the extensive business support network and funding that's available for free (or cheap) in the Bay Area. This is particularly true among minority and low income communities. But honestly, I've been in business and "plugged in" for 17 years in the Bay, and I learn something new every day. The Alliance for Community Development is helping to address this by offering a simple tool. Just send a text message. Once you do that, they'll kick into gear, identifying your business needs, and helping you access programs that align with those needs. Simple, right?