FAMU launches new small business assistance program

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 8:30 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A boost for small businesses is coming in the Capital City. FAMU is launching a new program to help women and minority entrepreneurs step out on the right path.

According to FAMU, the university received a $100,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank to fund staff support, mentorship and a “business navigation” guide. The money will also help provide shared office space for start-ups.

The last year and a half has been tough on small business owners. Especially those owned by women and minorities.

The University explained that businesses that have gone through these incubation programs have an 87% survival rate through the first five years.

William Coleman has been building his business in Tallahassee for about one year. It’s an IT consulting firm called ‘Blackout Solutions LLC.’

Coleman explained that this last year has been very stressful.

“From COVID, from the restrictions, but it also gave opportunities to put things in perspective. So as I transitioned from working for somebody else and more so into entrepreneurship, that was one of the things I reflected on,” shared Coleman.

Coleman is one of three initial businesses chosen to participate in this new small business incubator through the FAMU Small Business Development Center, which is focused on providing better business opportunities to women and minority entrepreneurs.

“We want to invest in the dreams of our entrepreneurs that are right here in our community,” said a representative for FAMU.

The incubation program will provide coaches, mentorship programs and a shared work space, as well as faculty resources through the university.

“We’re also interested in retaining some of the talent that comes out of these major universities. And I see this as an opportunity,” said Tallahassee City Commission member Dianne Williams-Cox.

Coleman told WCTV that he hopes this program will help get his business off the ground.

“What I’m hoping for is just more resources, more network, more education,” said Coleman.

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