Charlotte Center City Partners has launched a new program that will provide training and operating space for entrepreneurs who own food and retail businesses.
The Charlotte Hub for Inclusivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (HIIVE) program is a nine-week program where 24 small business owners work with industry experts to improve their marketing techniques, sales strategies, capital access and networking opportunities.
Why it matters: This program aims to support underrepresented business owners adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Any business that went into the pandemic that was already underserved or underresourced, they had a really hard time,” James LaBar, the SVP of economic development for Charlotte Center City Partners, told QCity Metro.
“This program is a real support piece to help small businesses become more resilient,”
The first cohort begins courses in October 2023 and concludes in February 2024. HIIVE courses and events are held at the Market at 7th Street.
Two businesses will be selected among the group to be housed at the Market at 7th Street for six months rent-free, LaBar said.
LaBar said this would provide the businesses to meet a new customer base and the Market customers to support a new business.
The resource hub prioritizes supporting small businesses owned by people of color, women, and/or veterans with the aspiration of expanding and opening a brick-and-mortar.
Applications are open, and inspiring participants must apply by September 4. Tuition for those accepted into the HIIVE program is $150.