The Douglas County Chamber is pleased to announce the completion of the second cohort of CO.STARTERS, a program for entrepreneurs and start-up companies. This program is in partnership with the Douglas County Economic Development Authority, Douglas UnitE3 , BB&T, Mercer University, and Regions Bank. Ten aspiring entrepreneurs participated in the cohort and were recognized at a community celebration held on October 8th.
CO.STARTERS is a nine-week program that equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. Drawing from the experience of successful entrepreneurs and start-up veterans from around the globe, CO.STARTERS walks creative small-business owners through lean, effective business modeling methods in a simple and intuitive way, and with the help of a supportive community. Rather than treating a start-up like a large corporation and writing a detailed business plan, CO.STARTERS participants were encouraged to build and test small models first. In the process, participants received real-time customer feedback, updated their models to meet customer needs and avoid creating businesses based on incorrect assumptions. The CO.STARTERS program has a global reach, serving numerous communities across the United States, New Zealand, and Australia.
CO.STARTERS is offered as part of the Build Business Success pillar of the Community and Economic Development Strategic Plan for Douglas County that was unveiled in 2018. The program aligns with the strategy to enhance support systems for entrepreneurs and startups. Small business remains one of the fundamental economic drivers for local economies and job creation, but these smaller-scale startups have not received the same level of support as their high-growth counterparts. CO.STARTERS aims to narrow that gap.
“I highly recommend CO.STARTERS for anyone in the exploratory phase of launching a business. Dr. Stenard, the guest speakers and the CO.STARTERS curriculum and resource toolkit provided a clear roadmap to follow. Additionally, I learned a great deal from my fellow classmates who represented multiple sectors and stages of business maturity. I am ending my experience feeling very knowledgeable and certain about next steps and a path forward to launching and growing a successful enterprise.” commented Odessa Archibald, class participant.
Chamber President and CEO, Sara Ray, commented, “Hearing from budding entrepreneurs is truly inspiring! Am excited to see where the next chapter takes this year’s graduates and the impact they will have on our growing community!”
2019 CO.STARTERS Participants:
Odessa Archibald, Devin Church, Orrick Curry, Victoria Gulley, Maria Gascon-Aguilar, La’Chara Holbrook, Suzette Johnson, Brian O’Neal, Dorien LaPene-Williams, and Devonte Steward.
For more information on CO.STARTERS, visit costarters.co. To learn about CO.STARTERS in Douglas County, visit www.douglascountygeorgia.com.