By Marco Perez, VP of Operations at Launch Chattanooga
LAUNCH CHA focuses on this type of entrepreneurship in order to build a thriving city
It is ingrained in our collective psyche that hard work, whether through fruitful employment or business ownership, will allow us to achieve our personal goals and help us to fulfill “the American Dream.” At LAUNCH CHA we believe microbusiness entrepreneurship is a necessary component for a community to build a healthy and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem while helping individuals turn their dream into a reality.
LAUNCH CHA is a microbusiness entrepreneurship training and coaching organization that serves communities that are underrepresented in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Specifically, we target minorities, women, people in low-wealth neighborhoods, and people who are 50 and older, valuing both full-time and part-time business owners.
The entrepreneurial mindset is an absolute necessity for all communities; one that should be encouraged and strengthened. The entrepreneur sees a problem, a need, or a want and tries to create a way to meet it in a competitive, financially viable and rewarding form. An entrepreneur takes ownership of their life and seeks to build their own future. An entrepreneur is optimistic and, often against all odds, is able to create a successful product or service that allows them and others to thrive.
The solutions for the financial disparity hitting many of our communities will not come from outside forces seeking to define the future of these communities, but from the strengths, capacities, imaginations, innovative forces and resilience of the members inside the already-existing communities. By leveling the playing field through proper training, surrounding individuals with the right resources, support and capital infusion we will be able to see those brilliant minds thrive and lead their communities forward.
LAUNCH CHA recognizes the value of one business that might hire 1000 employees, but also sees the unique advantage of 1000 businesses that hire one employee. The former will likely generate greater marketing capital for a community and financial returns, particularly for its investors and managers. The latter will generate a spirit and culture of entrepreneurship that will result in a diversity and complexity of ideas that can only help lift the equitable distribution of opportunity within a community helping it grow and shed itself of any stigmas.
Microbusiness entrepreneurship will produce specialty bakeries and coffee shops, microbreweries and bookstores, pop up restaurants and power bars, soap makers and artists, caterers and nail salons. That community to thrive long after the large business has closed its doors to go find a location that will allow it to once again seek greater returns.
LAUNCH CHA is a Discover Entrepreneurship grantee. This LaunchTN program provides funding support to organizations that offer entrepreneurship programming in rural and under-served communities. See all 10 nonprofits that received this grant and follow @launchtn on Twitter to find out when applications open for the next cohort.