Progress OKC opens entrepreneur program applications
Progress OKC is opening applications this week for a business and resource development accelerator for small businesses in Oklahoma City. The Generation Impact Business Accelerator program was created and launched in 2021 to provide support, guidance and resources for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs.
The program helps entrepreneurs and founders by teaching business skills and best practices in human resources, marketing, and financial services while creating a solid business plan. The training connects founders with seasoned business consultants and guidance to access capital.
To qualify, the business must be located in Oklahoma City, have a business concept and have at least one year of industry experience or revenue. Preference will be given to underserved communities and founders who are Black, Indigenous or people of color. Applications will be open until Aug. 23.
The nine-week course will kick off in September and will help business founders create a business plan through a hands-on training where they will learn more about all the elements in a business plan while being supported by a professional business development facilitator. As the business plan and training is completed, founders will have access to the network of consultants and mentors to further refine strategies and execution of the plan. Once the founder has completed the business plan and accessed resource components, they will qualify for a match and a loan through Kiva, a 0% interest, crowdfunded, low-barrier, micro-loan. Kiva allows founders to crowdfund up to $15,000 through their local community and corporate partners to meet their share of the matching funds.
This is the second cohort of the Generation Impact Business Accelerator program and we already have founders tell us how the program has helped them launch and grow their small businesses.
Mekala Littleton participated in the previous cohort. Her business, Beloved Bones, is an oddities, antiques, and natural history store. Through Generation Impact Accelerator, Mekala was able to produce a business plan and connect with advisers and mentors. She was approved for a $15,000 micro-loan through Kiva to open her own brick-and-mortar store on 2828 NW 10th St.
Over the coming months, I’ll highlight more successes from the Generation Impact Business Accelerator program and the additional resources Oklahoma City is providing for our small business and startup community. You can learn more at www.ProgressOKC.org or register at https://forms.gle/6GA96pWqR285Mdpr7.