VSU to create program for minority entrepreneurs to launch businesses
7/8/2021, 6 p.m.
Virginia State University plans to use a $453,000 grant to help Black and minority entrepreneurs launch new businesses, it has been announced.
The state’s GO Virginia awarded the grant to the VSU Center for Entrepreneurship to create a one-stop launching pad for such businesses, according to the university’s Reginald F. Lewis School of Business in which the center is housed. According to the university, the new program will offer training in business planning, help entrepreneurs access co-working and maker spaces, provide access to legal advice on business affairs and host other activities to promote business development.
VSU credited Dr. Patrice Perry-Rivers, director of the entrepreneurship center, with creating the program and securing the grant. Dr. Perry-Rivers stated that the center plans to host competitions to allow fledgling businesses to pitch to potential investors, offer financial planning sessions and workshops on patents and protection of intellectual property and create fellowships for young entrepreneurs.
The center is teaming with public and private organizations to help add to the impact, including the Metropolitan Business League, Lighthouse Labs, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Africa Network Initiative, Girls for a Change as well as the Small Business Administration, the state Center for Innovative Technology and the Sanders Entrepreneurship Fund.
Other partners include the state Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Crater Planning District Commission, the governments of Petersburg, Richmond, Colonial Heights and the counties of Chesterfield and Henrico. Also Metrostar, Jordan IP Law, Edmonds Law, Success Companies and Spider Management.