Lowcountry Local First (LLF), a nonprofit focused on economic development focused on local ownership, graduated its second class of entrepreneurs from its 12 week program Community Business Academy (CBA). Nineteen graduates have completed Spring Academy, including a local pet store, travel agency, artist, catering company and more. ABC is the first phase of the organization Good Business Initiative which was launched in fall 2019. Good Enterprises is a catalyst for reshaping the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem into one that provides fair opportunities for business ownership, to transform lives and communities. Three program phases accompany current and aspiring entrepreneurs through a Community Business Academy, followed by a suite of bespoke business acceleration services throughout the year and an optional equity credit program when graduates are ready to seize financial or investment opportunities.
“I am proud of the graduates of Community Business Academy Spring 2020 for several reasons,” says Raquel Padgett, program director and senior academy instructor. “Their tenacity and dedication came about as we had to move from the classroom to an online format due to Covid-19. Then I watched students maneuver through economic and professional uncertainty, homeschool their children, lose loved ones to the coronavirus, experience grief and frustration over the George Floyd murder and the other murders. that preceded. Some of our students are healthcare workers and caregivers who work 15 hour days. Thanks to it all, 19 relentless students took online classes, completed their homework, and graduated! ”
All entrepreneurs in the program entered a resume competition and three winners received special recognition at a recent online graduation ceremony. One of the winners was Emma Cromedy, co-owner of local restaurant business Carolima’s with her sister. “As you know, it has been quite difficult during this pandemic,” says Emma. “Writing the consolidated statement helped us think outside the box during these times. We’ve incorporated live cooking demonstrations that have helped us organically grow our social media followers and customer base.
Spring 2020 Academy of Community Affairs graduates:
– Lydia Bracken, five minutes of peace
– Janice Burch, Work Soul Flow
– Emma Cromedy, from Carolima
– Monique Deniro, Rich Made Easy
– Tim Falvey, Uncle Tim’s bench
– Tomeaka Faldger, Proximity
– Cleveland Frasier, Frasier-Co.
– Charles Grant, Heritage
– Lauren Hammond, better to pack your bags
– Walton Jones, Good Guy Personal Services
– Bernard Kelly, United Brokers Global
– Skyelynn Landry, ByoSolutions
– Kristine Luke, Park Animals
– Erin Noble, EVE Aesthetics
– Lisa Robinson, Black Expressions, Inc.
– Laci Robinson, Black Expressions, Inc.
– Diana Saillant, Saillant Linguistic consultancy
– Denise Singleton, Lillie’s Sea & Soul Food
– Angaleita Thorne, at your Concierge service
Good Enterprises implements the curriculum and award-winning business simulation model created by the Capital of the rising tide New Jersey-based program that serves more than 600 entrepreneurs per year, with an 87% survival rate beyond the five-year mark.
Applications are now being accepted for two Fall 2020 Community Affairs Academies which will both start online in August. Students will have access to a digital learning platform with weekly virtual classroom discussions. Scholarships are available and all experience levels are welcome to apply for this program whether the business exists or is in the first idea phase. All applicants are required to attend an online information session. To register, complete a program request form online at goodenterprises.org.
For more information, contact Raquel Padgett at [email protected] or by calling 843-212-6298.
Community program and funding partners include South Carolina Department of Commerce, United States Economic Development Administration, Bank of America, Greystar, Charleston County Economic Development, Rising Tide Capital, Singing for Change Charitable Foundation, Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, BB&T, CresCom Bank, TD Bank, South Carolina Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo, Metanoia, YWCA of Greater Charleston, and Palmetto Goodwill.