Accelerate Northside Program to Help Entrepreneurs Grow Business

Posted at 5:26 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 08:13:20-05

This Black History Month we've taken time each week to highlight a black-owned business in Acadiana, and this week, we're looking ahead at the future of these businesses.

The Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center at UL is teaming up with the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce to present a six-week program for small business owners and entrepreneurs on the Northside of Lafayette.

The program called Accelerate Northside will give them the tools they need to hit the ground running because the developers know there is so much that goes into starting your own business.

"Everything from how do you get things going from accounting and finance and operations and marketing. We wanted to take this and specifically target the north side to get that momentum going in that part of the city," says Jonathan Shirley, the Programs and Operations Manager at the L.E.E.D. Center on campus.

The program starts with six weeks of education-based workshops... then consulting sessions with students and finally, each entrepreneur is paired with a mentor.

"It really is designed to go into particularly minority under influenced areas, more impoverished communities, and the way it works its entrepreneurship is a little slower. Let's go through this together," says Shirley.

The idea is a long-term snowball effect, creating an overall spirit of ingenuity.

"This program is going to bring a culture to it and a sense of community that I think fosters great ideas and fosters great entrepreneurs and fosters the entrepreneurial mindset which is one of- I can effect change, my future is not determined already," says Shirley.

The first session has been filled, but the L.E.E.D. Center hopes continue doing the program, so if you'd like to get on the list for the next iteration, email or call 337-456-1810.