Ten Anne Arundel County Businesses Graduate from the Inclusive Ventures Program
Annapolis, Maryland (April 22, 2021) – Today Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman joined Ben Birge, Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) CEO and City of Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley in congratulating the first cohort of AAEDC’s Inclusive Ventures Program (IVP). The initiative aims to help small, minority, women and veteran owned businesses in Anne Arundel County by offering a robust menu of resources including education, access to capital and mentorship. Participating businesses ranged from a number of sectors and communities across the county:
- Alieu Kamara, AmaraTech IT Solutions, Laurel
- Sandra Torres, Cake Artista, Edgewater
- Eugenia Harris, Calming Mind Massage, Severn
- Victoria Buggs, Center for Health Educators and Safety Specialists, Glen Burnie
- Hiromi Fueoka, Kyori Dental Lab, Glen Burnie
- Joseph Misero, Miss Plum’s Farm Stand, Churchton
- Andrea Moragues, MuralizeIt Interiors, Annapolis
- Jeanette Kreuzburg, Soloday Marketing and Development, Millersville
- Liliane Badawu, The Braiding Palace, Glen Burnie
- Kyle Williams, Tunnel Vision, Severn
“Although we are celebrating the end of classes, this is actually the beginning for these entrepreneurs to take their new found knowledge to help grow their businesses,’ said County Executive Pittman. “The guidance they received in the program will hopefully translate into business success and the creation of more jobs.”
“Operating a small business is a fulfilling, but often difficult, endeavor,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “The beauty of this program rests not only in the training or the capital, but in the networking with other small business owners. Especially as we come out of the pandemic, it is crucial that we lean on, and learn from, one another.”
The program’s signature component is the Virtual Entrepreneurship Cohort and Seed Fund. Over the past seven weeks, business owners participated in a weekly three-hour class led by business consultant Will Holmes, a recruiter for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Cohort members also were required to have consultations with legal, human resources and accounting experts provided by AAEDC. At the last meeting on April 21, each participant presented their business growth plans.
AAEDC convened a small outdoor celebration today where IVP participants received certificates of completion and a ceremonial check for the seed grant. The $5,000 grant can be used for working capital. Photos from the event are available by contacting Allison Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org .
AAEDC CEO Ben Birge said, “The success of these businesses won’t be theirs alone. It will also be a win for Anne Arundel County. The IVP is a shining example of the importance of investing in minority businesses and it’s a model that other regions should adopt.”
AAEDC plans on convening another IVP cohort in the Fall. More information is available by visiting the Inclusive Ventures Program page on the AAEDC website.
ABOUT THE ANNE ARUNDEL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
The mission of the AAEDC is to serve as a catalyst for business growth in Anne Arundel County thereby increasing job opportunities, expanding the tax base and improving quality of life. By providing investment and technical assistance and fostering community revitalization initiatives, the AAEDC plays a vital role in enhancing commercial districts, improving county infrastructure, increasing agriculture-based business and promoting high-value business sectors such as technology and national defense. News and updates are available on the corporation’s website www.aaedc.org