City + Citizen News

City Council hears update on African American business accelerator program

Tuesday, September 25

Classes for EMERGE accelerator program to begin Oct. 6


At their meeting on Monday, Spartanburg City Council heard an update from Community Services Director, Mitch Kennedy about the City's EMERGE African American business accelerator program. The program is designed to identify, prepare, empower and sustain African American entrepreneurs who desire to locate a business in the city or others looking to locate a business in a predominantly African American area of the city. Participants will receive guidance through all stages of opening or expanding a business so they will be lender ready to up and running.

The 10-week business training and development program will support entrepreneurs in identifying a business venture, business plan development, financial education, accounting, and securing financing. Classes will be held weekly and will be taught by business experts and experienced entrepreneurs who share advice, guidance, and lessons learned. Two phases, start-up and growth, will be offered during the program year with approximately 10-15 business owners in each cohort.


The City received 35 applicants for its inaugural class. Those chosen to participate will attend classes on Saturday mornings at Spartanburg Community College’s downtown campus. Applications for the programs second class will be accepted beginning in October. 


For more from Monday's City Council meeting, see our full video below.