BEAUFORT, S.C. – Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate economic and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship, announces the launch of its program in the Lowcountry region in 2024. Available virtually and at no cost to participants, this business accelerator program will provide individuals residing in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties with the training and support needed to start, grow and sustain a business or nonprofit.
The Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) of South Carolina, a nonprofit that works to create communities rich in equity, opportunity and well-being, provided EforAll with a critical, early-stage catalyst grant to help accelerate its launch. A recent Civic Engagement Summary Report published by CCF found that, while Lowcountry cities have experienced rapid economic growth, rural areas of these coastal counties continue to struggle economically. The report outlines the long-standing challenge of racial divides that has caused minority community members – particularly those with entrepreneurial spirit and dreams of starting businesses – to feel excluded from economic opportunities.
“One of CCF’s core pillars is creating opportunities for economic mobility,” said CCF President and CEO Darrin Goss. “Investing in EforAll with a Catalyst Grant is a strategic move by CCF to address our community’s need for a business accelerator program in the Southern Lowcountry region. This investment will support typically under-represented entrepreneurs to build a better financial future for themselves and their families, plus contributes to job creation for the community at large.”
Rob and Lauren Bazemore, local EforAll champions, are generously matching CCF’s initial funding for EforAll through their Epoch Lowcountry Ventures family fund. The Bazemores learned about EforAll while living in Boston before relocating to the Lowcountry, permanently.
According to the Bazemores, “The most important factors in finding a partner to bring this resource to the Lowcountry were whether they could attract the targeted participants, and whether successful businesses were created as a result. EforAll had already demonstrated both, with over 70% of businesses created by its program participants still running after 3 years. Those odds defy all business start-up benchmarks.”
EforAll helps under-represented individuals successfully start and grow their businesses or nonprofits across a wide range of industries, including personal and professional services, food, retail, manufacturing, and technology. The year-long program offers a unique combination of immersive business training, dedicated mentorship from local business and community leaders, and access to a large professional network, along with the opportunity to win seed money.
“We see so much opportunity for EforAll to fill a gap, as we focus our efforts on reaching aspiring entrepreneurs who typically feel left out of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including women, people of color, immigrants and veterans,” said Meralis T. Hood, CEO of EforAll. “Across all the communities we serve, 84% of our graduating ventures are women owned ventures and 69% are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) owned, so we know we can make a difference in South Carolina.”
EforAll is looking for an Executive Director to lead its new Lowcountry program. Interested candidates can learn more about this opportunity and apply at eforall.org/careers/.
To learn more and to stay updated on EforAll Lowcountry, visit eforall.org/sc/lowcountry.
Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is a nonprofit organization that partners with communities nationwide to help under-represented individuals successfully start and grow a business through intensive business training, mentorship and an extended professional support network. To date, EforAll alumni have launched over 1,400 businesses. In 2022 alone, its businesses provided 2,108 local jobs and generated over $66M in revenue, despite the pandemic. Programs are available in both English and Spanish. EforAll current locations include Longmont, Colo.; Maine; Northwest Arkansas, Rhode Island; and the following Massachusetts communities: Berkshire County, Cape Cod, Fall River/New Bedford, Lynn, Merrimack Valley, Pioneer Valley, Roxbury and Worcester. To learn more about EforAll, please visit eforall.org.
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