AT&T is collaborating with the Staunton Creative Community Fund to create a two-pronged funding pool for female and minority entrepreneurs in the Shenandoah Valley.
The first funding pool will be a full scholarship program for SCCF’s business planning course called Business Bootcamp. The second funding pool will be a grant program for minority and women-owned businesses that have been negatively impacted by the government response to COVID-19 and other barriers to financial resiliency.
Thanks in part to a $16,000 contribution from AT&T, SCCF plans to distribute six $2,000 grants and to send six qualifying entrepreneurs through Business Bootcamp in 2021.
“Women and people of color are statistically more likely to become entrepreneurs,” said Debbie Irwin, executive director of SCCF. “They are also more likely to face unique challenges as entrepreneurs for a number of reasons, including limited access to credit, poor financial health, and COVID-related issues. Through this program, we hope to fill in some of the gaps that exist for these entrepreneurs that enrich our communities so greatly.”
“We know there is much more that must be addressed when it comes to inequities across every facet of society,” said Vince Apruzzese, president, AT&T-Virginia. “By teaming up with SCCF, we’re taking a step together toward addressing the inequities and challenges that women and minority entrepreneurs face every day. This program provides them with additional tools to start, grow and sustain businesses in Virginia, which is great for their families and communities – and for our entire Commonwealth.”
For more information on the Women and Minority-Owned Business Support program, e-mail [email protected].