In 2016, in partnership with Wells Fargo’s Diverse Community Capital fund, Main Street Launch developed some additional programs and services specifically designed to support African American small business owners in Oakland and San Francisco. This program is lead by Robert Lattimore, Senior Vice President. One element is our Entrepreneur in Residence Program.
Our Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) program identifies early stage companies that could benefit from support from an accelerator program. Our goal is that at the end of six months of Residency, the entrepreneurs will be able to monetize their business. Our program supports early stage companies with resources, relationships, and advice that they need to take their businesses to the next level.
One of the first two companies that participated in our EIR program is Civil Labs.
Civil Labs, co-founded by Isaac Buwembo and Graham Gardner, is a social enterprise with a mission to empower young people to make change in their community, and to give them the resources to do so. This Oakland-based business is developing a food community center that provides space for after-school youth programming and commercial kitchens for area food entrepreneurs.
“Throughout our journey starting this business, we have seen a lot of incremental progress. Sometimes, there are moments where it feels like we jumped on a moving walkway. Joining Main Street Launch’s Entrepreneur in Residence program was one of those bigger leaps for our business development,” says Isaac and Graham. Click here to read more about Civil Labs.