Twice a year, a cohort of five entrepreneurs who live or own a business in the city of Cleveland join our Core City: Cleveland Impact Program. This 12-week business assistance program is designed to drive economic impact in the city of Cleveland by helping individuals overcome obstacles to entrepreneurship through hands-on advising and industry-specific mentoring.

From barbershops and clothing boutiques to landscaping and consulting businesses, the Core City: Cleveland Impact Program helps entrepreneurs of all experience levels across a wide variety of industries.

“Whether you’re a young founder with a big idea, or a longtime community business owner looking to expand, our team is here to help you access the resources and make the connections you need to achieve your goals,” said Lamont Mackley, JumpStart’s Partner of Core City Services and Outreach.

Over the course of three months, program participants learn and work together alongside JumpStart’s advisors and volunteer mentors. The program culminates in a demo day-style competition where participants use their new knowledge and skills to pitch to a panel of judges for a chance to take home up to $10,000 to grow their business.

Since the program’s inception in 2015, $100,000 in non-equity funding has been provided to 25 companies located in neighborhoods that have been traditionally disconnected from, and underserved by, our region’s support ecosystem.

Beyond funding, the program equips business owners with a variety of business and leadership skills, including financial forecasting, accounting, networking and communication, all of which can be immediately applied within their organizations.

“I’ve been partnered with wonderful advisors who know how business works, especially the financials,” said Lauren Back, co-founder of Backattack Snacks and Impact Program graduate. “Having them help me and push me to go a little further than what’s expected of us has really helped me open my eyes to what it takes to run a business.”

Interested in starting your own Core City: Cleveland journey? Apply to be considered for the Impact Program’s fall cohort by clicking the link below!

Apply Now For The Core City: Cleveland Impact Program