Raleigh, N.C. — A partnership to help small businesses, specifically in certain areas of Raleigh, kicked off Tuesday.
More than 20 entrepreneurs are in the first class of Launch Raleigh.
“We were looking for people committed enough to do the work,” said Wake Tech Director of Entrepreneurship Initiatives Katie Gailes.
New and existing business owners will take classes on how to start and grow. They will get mentoring, networking opportunities and the chance to obtain small loans.
Launch Raleigh organizers looked for candidates with viable ideas, who plan to operate their business specifically in Southeast Raleigh.
“If you look at the entrepreneurial excitement in Raleigh, it seems to stop at Wilmington Street,” Gailes said.
Gailes said the program isn’t all about business. It is also aimed at helping traditionally black communities in the city.
“Entrepreneurship is the answer to a lot of our social ills and economic problems,” Gailes said.
Veronica Saccoh, who sells men’s clothing and accessories, said she is ready to learn.
“I look forward to making the big profits and really scoring big in the business,” she said.
Sponsors of Launch Raleigh include the Rotary Club of North Raleigh, Shaw University, Saint Augustine’s University, Wake Tech, the Carolina Small Business Fund, Passage Home and the City of Raleigh.
The plan to hold more Launch Raleigh classes in the future.