Current & aspiring entrepreneurs sought for “Launch Wake Forest”

Friday, January 3, 2020 - 11:34am

The Town of Wake Forest and a network of local partners are inviting current and aspiring entrepreneurs to apply for “Launch Wake Forest.” The initiative will offer 20 selected students a nine-week accredited Kaufman business course, business mentorship, planning and financial support, along with resources and connections to boost their current or potential business.

In order to qualify, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Live in Wake Forest area;

  • Supply a product or service that can generate profit;

  • Demonstrate need for financial and/or business resources;

  • Consent to interview by selection committee;

  • Complete in-person business training once a week for nine weeks;

  • Develop business plan and budget;

  • Meet and/or communicate regularly with assigned business mentor;

  • If applicable, repay micro-loan, in regular installments, within 12 months of receipt of loan.

The application deadline is Friday, Jan. 31. The selection process includes an interview that will be scheduled in February. Please note: Current Rotarians are ineligible for Launch Wake Forest funding.

Selected students will be required to attend nine weeks (once weekly) of a small business course at a location in Downtown Wake Forest. The course is provided free of charge to all Launch Wake Forest participants and required to qualify for possible funding. Each class is three hours long, includes dinner and will be scheduled on Tuesday evenings beginning in March. 

Developed by Wake Technical Community College’s Entrepreneurship Initiative and sponsored by Wells Fargo, the Launch Wake Forest curriculum provides a solid framework to support the entrepreneur as he or she starts a business and begins a journey towards success in business. At the conclusion of the training, students will be paired with experienced businessmen and women who will act as mentors for another six months. Students will also have access to microloans and possible investments.

Launch Wake Forest is aimed at entrepreneurs who have a great idea but are unsure where or how to begin, as well as those who are already in business and need to learn how to progress to the next level. At the end of the nine-week course, students will graduate with a business plan, marketing plan and a path to make success a reality.

Organizers have scheduled the following free information sessions in January to share complete details on Launch Wake Forest:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 14; 6-8 p.m.; Wake Forest Renaissance Centre Annex, 405 S. Brooks St.;

  • Thursday, Jan. 23; Noon-1:30 p.m.; Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 S. White St.

  • Thursday, Jan. 30; 8:30-10:30 a.m.; Online Web Conference.

To learn more and/or apply online, visit https://launchwakeforest.com.