How Invest Atlanta and The Guild are Supporting Local Entrepreneurs Through Accelerate Southside – Erika Smith & Nikishka Iyengar

On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Erika Smith and Nikishka Iyengar. Erika is the Southside Community and Economic Development Manager at Invest Atlanta, and Niki is the Founder and CEO of The Guild. Together, their organizations have collaborated on a new project called Accelerate Southside, which we will be discussing today.

In this segment, we find out more about The Guild and Invest Atlanta and how they came to be partners on the new project Accelerate Southside. This program was designed with the intention to help minority-owned businesses, on the southside of Atlanta, grow with business acceleration programs and setting them up with store-fronts as a means to build wealth.

Unfortunately, in Atlanta, black-owned businesses are undervalued 11 times more than white-owned businesses and Accelerate Southside was born out of a need to alleviate the systematic challenges that minority entrepreneurs face.

The program consists of four stages. First is the application process, then entrepreneurs will need to complete The Guild’s Community Wealth Build Business Accelerator Program, then participants, purchase a shipping container from Pittsburg Yard, and lastly, eligible businesses will receive down payment assistance for the container.

To find out more about Accelerate Southside, Invest Atlanta, and The Guild, be sure to catch our entire interview above.


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