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“Nationals October 2019

10 More Businesses Graduate From County’s Third Cohort of Inclusive Ventures Program

| May 03, 2022, 01:41 PM

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman,  Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (MDHCD) Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, and City of Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley congratulated the third cohort of AAEDC’s Inclusive Ventures Program (IVP) following the group’s graduation and pitch day on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

Introduced by AAEDC in January 2021, IVP aims to help small and minority-owned, woman-owned, and Veteran-owned businesses in Anne Arundel County succeed and grow by providing their owners with a wide array of resources such as business education and training, access to capital, and mentorship. Including the third cohort, 31 total business owners have completed and graduated from the program.

Reflecting the geographic and sector diversity of Anne Arundel County’s businesses, the ten participating business owners included:

  • Lydia Wainwright, Harbor Holistic, Severna Park
  • Cherie  Tyler, K&C Technologies, Odenton
  • Samantha Jones, Zen & Crystals, Annapolis
  • Amy Salmon, Salmon Insurance, Linthicum Heights
  • Ann Williams, RA Movers, Hanover
  • Jeremiah Batucan, Peake Social, Annapolis
  • Meagan Connolly, Alchemi Designs, Arnold
  • Modupe Eyo, TEAL Education Services, Crofton
  • Della Roderick, August Rose Health Center, Glen Burnie
  • Beth McFeely, McFeely Window Fashions, Millersville

“Thank you for building businesses and growing businesses in Anne Arundel County,” said County Executive Pittman in a congratulatory video. “You all are the backbone of what the government is trying to achieve, helping people, because you’ve done so by hiring people. I hope that you have learned a lot and will stick together, communicate with one another, and continue to take advantage of all of the great programs at Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation.”

Liquified Creative Annapolis

“I also want to say that I think the Inclusive Ventures Program is one of the best things that Anne Arundel County has done in government for a long time,” County Executive Pittman continued. “I was so impressed with the first two classes and yours, in fact, that we are funding the expansion of it in our next budget. So thank you for helping to make IVP such a success and for helping make Anne Arundel County the best place for all!”

“Congratulations to these ten business entrepreneurs who have forged through the difficulties facing all startup companies, entered their next phase of growth, and chosen to pursue additional knowledge and mentorship that will support their successful, long-term operations,” said Secretary Holt. “Our department is proud to have signed on as an official sponsor of this forward-thinking initiative earlier this year, and we look forward to watching these businesses help strengthen their communities as they grow.”

Buckley gave a special nod to two of the businesses, both located in Annapolis.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American – and the Annapolis – economy,” said Mayor Buckley. I am excited to see what comes next for both Zen & Crystals, a unique West Street boutique, and Annapolis Social, a competitive, social and philanthropic experience for area residents. I know the training they receive through Inclusive Ventures will elevate their success to the next level.”

During the IVP Pitch Day, each business owner presented his or her business growth plans to and responded to questions from a panel of expert judges, including potential investors. They then received a certificate for completing all components of the IVP – attending seven weekly three-hour classes led by business consultant Will Holmes, Founder of Will Holmes Consulting and the Baltimore Economic Leadership League, and consultations with legal, human resources, and accounting experts provided by AAEDC. Finally, each participant received a $5,000 seed grant to serve as working capital for their business.

To learn more, visit the Inclusive Ventures Program page.

Category: Businesses, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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