HGN: Start Co. launches first cohort of minority-owned businesses
As efforts grow city-wide to invest in minority-owned businesses, Start Co. responded by launching its first accelerator aimed to serve existing minority-owned businesses. The Propel program graduated its first cohort in January. The companies launched include Casey Custom Upholstery, Durham Housing, Fifer & Associates, Fitnexx, The Healthcare Institute, Reflections and West Wing Events. The 12-week program, run in partnership with The City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity and Compliance, was designed to build capacity and enhance the business models of existing by offering hands-on programming, mentor opportunities and technical resources.
Unlike the other accelerators, however, Propel was created specifically for local businesses to create a relationship between the city and minority small business talent. They hope the pilot program can continue and grow after a successful first class of graduates.
“It’s exciting,” Fowlkes said. “We hope it can become an ongoing resource for minority-owned businesses.”