In 2016, in partnership with Wells Fargo’s Diverse Community Capital program, Main Street Launch developed additional programs and services specifically designed to support African American small business owners in Oakland and San Francisco.
San Francisco Small Business Week
Main Street Launch is proud to have partnered with the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce to host the first San Francisco Small Business Week event focused on African Americans. Our programmatic services for African American-owned businesses in San Francisco are focused in the Fillmore and Bayview Districts, so we chose to host our first event at 1300 on Fillmore, an African American-owned business in the Fillmore District. This session convened more than 60 small business owners and community members. “There’s a need to create additional opportunities for African American entrepreneurs to come together and access the support they need for their businesses,” says Robert Lattimore, Main Street Launch’s Senior Vice President. “We used this session to kick-off our Business Lifecycle Series.”
Business Lifecycle Series
In addition to receiving funding support from Wells Fargo, Main Street Launch is utilizing their technology platform, “Wells Fargo Works”, to support and enhance traditional seminars. This integrated approach allows seminar participants to access additional tools that they need to support their business development at every stage. Contact us for more information about upcoming sessions of the Business Lifecycle Series.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
Our Entrepreneurs in Residence 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 the resources, relationships, and advice that they need to take their businesses to the next level.
To date, we have supported two companies in our Entrepreneur in Residence program. Both companies are interested in developing businesses with social impact. “These companies are focused on scaling within their neighborhoods, scaling green, and creating jobs that support their communities and offer benefits to their employees. This ‘profit with a conscious’ model is very exciting and has a lot of potential benefit for Oakland,” reflects Robert. Click here to learn more about Civil Labs, one of our Entrepreneur in Residence companies.
Main Street Launch’s African American business program offers capital from $50,000 to $250,000, with an emphasis on reaching women-owned companies. These loans can support entrepreneurs by refinancing high-interest small business debt that they have acquired through online lenders. Because these loans also can be used to buy or acquire a business, it allows African American entrepreneurs to start franchises and builds a pipeline of potential buyers for businesses owned by older entrepreneurs who are succession planning. Click here to learn more about Brown Sugar Kitchen, one of our lending clients.