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Local entrepreneur program accepting applicants to receive free office space, support services

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Posted at 4:50 AM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 08:14:47-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — A nonprofit program is looking to help new entrepreneurs reach their full potential.

A GO Virginia grant is funding the Startup Stability Program to help budding entrepreneurs in Hampton Roads start or grow their businesses.

Thirty entrepreneurs will be selected for the program that begins mid-June.

“If they need their taxes reviewed or prepared, they’re able to get that taken care of,” said Blair Durham, Black BRAND president. “If they need a QuickBooks training, they can work with the CPA to get that done.”

They’ll receive free rent at Bloom Coworking in Portsmouth or Percolator in Norfolk for the first three months and then pay discounted rates over the next 9 months.

“You can focus on your marketing, you can focus on your customer base, you can put money into your business versus money into your rent,” said Portsmouth Partnership Executive Director Michelle Wren. “A space where you’re comfortable, where you can have conversations, where you feel like you belong and that you understand your idea is actually worth something.”

Participants will also complete the B-Force Accelerator 12-week training program and receive additional training specific to their industry from Black BRAND.

“A training group of accountants, attorneys, marketing professionals, as well as a general business consultant, will help these business owners through wherever they are right now,” said Durham.

The program will target entrepreneurs working in business services, tourism and recreation, life sciences and advanced manufacturing.

The goal is to create more opportunities for people of color, but everyone in the target industry is encouraged to apply.

Related: NSU incubator program levels playing field for minority entrepreneurs

“Historically, there have been barriers put on minority groups — whether it’s access to capital or even just feeling that they should be in the space and understanding how to connect,” said Wren.

Applications are due by May 31. Click here for more information and to submit an application.