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Cuyahoga County Commits $43,200 to New Minority Entrepreneurship Initiative

1/9/2020


Media contact: Miranda Kortan: (216) 698-2546; mkortan@cuyahogacounty.us


JumpStart Entrepreneur in Residence Program Connects Tech-Based Business Owners to Business Advisory Resources

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH
– Cuyahoga County announced today its commitment of $43,200 in matching funds to support the Shared Entrepreneur in Residence Program, a new program run by JumpStart. Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) work as advisors to individuals who are leading startups. The EIRs assist these entrepreneurs with critical steps necessary to grow and create value: from fundraising plans and go-to-market strategies to staffing, budgeting and financial forecasting.

This specific EIR position was created to connect people of color starting a tech-based business to the many resources available to help tech entrepreneurs, with the goal of helping a more diverse range of entrepreneurs explore their innovative ideas and grow high-potential tech startups.

“Cuyahoga County is committed to investing in and providing technical assistance to support entrepreneurship and inclusive tech innovation. We are especially focused on supporting microenterprises, minority-owned and women-owned businesses as well as start-ups and early stage technology businesses,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “I am pleased to be part of this important initiative that will connect people of color who are leading start-up and early-stage technology businesses to business advisory resources in Cuyahoga County so they can continue to grow.”

Based out of JumpStart’s MidTown Cleveland Headquarters, this new EIR position will work closely with four community organizations: The Economic Community Development Institute (ECDI), The Hispanic Business Center, The Urban League of Greater Cleveland and The President’s Council. Through working together with these four trusted organizations, this EIR will reach out to residents within communities of color, to find and connect ambitious entrepreneurs to regional business advisory resources. The EIR will also provide direct technical assistance to these entrepreneurs to further their ideas.

“The entrepreneurs we work with should reflect the diversity of the communities we serve,”
said JumpStart Chief Inclusion and Outreach Officer Lamont Mackley. “This new position creates a resource, shared between these four organizations, to work in these communities to find and support tech entrepreneurs. This role will also help us collaborate effectively with one another as support organizations to provide the most impactful help we can.”

“ECDI’s mission is to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change, and to do that we must ensure that in the realm of technology start-ups, communities of color have access to the technical assistance and capital to launch and grow,” stated ECDI Northern Ohio Executive Director Danielle Sydnor. “We are proud to partner with three other strong and committed organizations to ensure that we help to close the disparity gap for funding and start up success in communities of color in Northern Ohio.”

“This much needed initiative is in alignment with our wealth creation strategy for entrepreneurs of color: more focus to expose minority entrepreneurs in high growth sectors such as technology and advanced manufacturing,” said Michael Obi, head of Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland.