SMALL BUSINESSES
THE INTENTIONALLY GOOD PROJECT

HELPING THE NEXT GENERATION OF BLACK SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS BECOME TECH-ENABLED. THIS IS #TECHDONERIGHT

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WE’RE CREATING A PIPELINE FROM THE NEXT GENERATION OF ATLANTA’S DIVERSE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
TO INFLUENCERS, CORPORATIONS, & CAPITAL PROVIDERS.

The divide between the “haves” and “have-nots” has never been wider. Income inequality is at its highest level since the Census began tracking it more than half a century ago. The share of wealth held by the bottom half of earners has plunged more than 50 percent since 2000. However, small businesses have long been the engines of opportunity that have allowed people at the bottom of the income distribution to make their way to the top. In other words, the most effective remedy for inequality is entrepreneurship.

Spurred by a grant from Atlanta Wealth Building InitiativeThe Intentionally Good Project For Small Businesses is a relationship and growth accelerator for promising diverse small business owners in Metro Atlanta. The overall objective is to put them on a pathway to becoming more profitable by helping them establish recurring revenue models, and automate internal processes using technology. We’re starting this August with a pilot cohort for black entrepreneurs.

In short, we’re leveling the playing field for top diverse entrepreneurs by unifying the tech, corporate, entertainment, and social good ecosystems.  Relationships matter. This is tech done right. Join us.

OUR LEAD PARTNER

HOW WE ACCELERATE RELATIONSHIPS

IDENTIFY

To find promising black small business owners, we rely on referrals from local leaders, ecosystem stakeholders, funders, other programs, and the community. 

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ASSESS + LEVEL UP

Next, we do two things (1) assess the entrepreneurs’ readiness to take on strategic corporate and influencer partners as well as capital, and (2) help them improve. 

Using a rubric inspired by Village Capital’s award-winning Venture Investment Readiness & Awareness Levels (VIRAL) curriculum, experts grade the entrepreneurs across eight (8) key business categories. Goals are then set to for each entrepreneur’s 3 lowest scoring categories, and they are given 60 days to improve. Video workshops featuring guest speakers from prestigious companies and influencer agencies are held on advanced topics such as storytelling, creating demand for strategic partners, and preparing to partner with corporations and influencers. Only the entrepreneurs that have made the required progress are eligible to move onto the next stage.

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SOCIAL NETWORKS + SOCIAL CAPITAL

Direct personal relationships and indirect relationships through shared connections or experiences heavily influence the ability of entrepreneurs to acquire partnerships with large companies as well as funding. According to the Kapor Center’s Leaky Tech Pipeline report, the lack of access to peer, mentor, and social networks from “prestigious” universities and companies prevent underrepresented groups from having access to referrals and introductions to VC firms. 

This stage improves opportunities, endorsements, and recommendations by connecting these programs to recent Atlanta transplants from areas like Silicon Valley, NYC, and Boston, as well as native Atlantans who are alumni of prestigious universities and companies. Deep connections will be made via progress reporting virtual sessions, coffee meetups, and storytelling events.

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PILOTS + ENDORSEMENTS + FINANCIAL CAPITAL

Having prominent partners and people attached to an entrepreneur increases perceptions of its quality, and this informal endorsement can substitute for accomplishment and experience as the basis of funding. Sources of capital are more likely to fund programs they have been introduced to through “warm leads” than companies led by individuals not in their social networks.

Our programming culminates with Pilots + Endorsements + Financial Capital, where the objective is to make connections to corporations for partnerships, influencers for endorsements, and sources of capital through warm leads. To close out the initiative, a virtual summit will be held for entrepreneur to report final milestone progress to funders, corporate partners, influencers, and community partners.

Get Intentionally Good Specific Emails

Get The Inside Scoop On This Ground-Breaking Initiative

Apply To The Summer 2020 Cohort

Are You Black Small Business Owner?

Become a Partner or Sponsor

Help Accelerate Relationships for Next Generation Black Entrepreneurs

KEY DATES

Updated Frequently

July 31: Applications Close for Summer 2020 Cohort
Tuesday August 4: Overview Summer 2020 Cohort: | Time: 7pm EST
Week of August 10: Influencer Readiness Evaluations
Week of August 17: Corporate Readiness Evaluations
Week of August 24: Funder Readiness Evaluations
Week of August 31: OKR Setting Week
September 8th: Expert Office Hours Begin / 1:1’s Begin
October 2: Expert Office Hours End
Week of October 5: Presentation Practice
October 15: Summer 2020 Cohort Progress Report Summit
October 16: Summer 2020 Cohort Ends

ECOSYSTEM PARTNERS

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BE A FORCE FOR GOOD

We can’t make produce innovative projects without your help! Please consider making a contribution today.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: BLACK ENTREPRENEURS

Is the program only for small businesses?

Yes.  In this case, we mean for-profit non-scalable companies. 

How are you defining diverse entrepreneurs?

We define diverse entrepreneurs as from groups underrepresented in tech for Year 1: African/African-American. For Year 2, we’ll look to expand to other groups like Latinx, women, LGBTQ, veterans, etc.

How is this program different from existing support programs in the city?

It is meant to compliment them. Think of it as concierge-level support as we’re providing access to high-powered social networks in an effort to improve your social capital. Essentially, it boils down to making a ton of connections for you. The first part of the program is shoring up your weakest areas so that you are ready for great opportunities. Think of it like a social network + sales/marketing program.

How much does it cost for a business to participate in this program?

Zero. It’s completely free.

How is it possible that this is free?

Because our amazing funders, sponsors, partners, and volunteers want to help save the world.

Can I be a solo founder/leader?

Yes, but we prefer businesses with at least 2-3 people as it increases the likelihood of success. It takes a lot to be successful, and it is extremely difficult for one person to do by themself. But it is possible.

My team doesn’t have an idea yet. Are we eligible to get helped?

We’re looking for those past the idea stage. However, a few of our community partners have programs that help those with only ideas get it out of your head, and refine it.

Can non-profit organizations take part?

For this pilot cohort, we are focused on for-profit companies. However, we’ll revisit this after this cohort. 

Is funding provided as part of the program?

Nope, but we do provide a ton of free resources. 

Do you or your partners take equity in my company?

Not as part of the official programming. However if a partner wants to make an investment in your org outside of the official program, then those terms are worked out between you and them. 

I’m not in Atlanta. Can my program participate?

For our pilot year in 2020, we’re working with small businesses in Metro Atlanta. However, we have plans to expand in the future.

Is this a full-time program? Do we have to be full-time in the company?

Nope. We’ve designed it so you have time for a job, class, etc. However, there will be a lot of work to do! Expect to put in 5-10 hours a week.

What is the time committment?

Great question. Its designed to not pull you away from building your work too much. The first month will be the most intense as we have assessments from funders, corporations, and influencers. Main thing is keeping in contact with your mentors as well as the people we put you in touch with.

Can I participate if we've been a part of an accelerator?

Yep. We’ve designed this program to compliment accelerators, and serve as a support system for accelerator alumni.

Do you think it would still be helpful for us to apply if we don’t need to raise money for a while?

We think so. We only make introductions to funders if it makes sense for you. But potentially getting strategic partnerships from large companies is helpful to most startups, and the process of preparing for funders is great whether you go for it or not. It makes your company better.

What is the application process?

Our application process includes a company application as well as phone and video interviews.

Is the programming in-person or virtual?

During this time of physical distancing, everything is virtual.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: PARTNERS + SPONSORS

My organization is part of the small business ecosystem. What role can we play?

There’s a bunch of ways to plug in depending on what you want. We can refer organizations to your program for training, and/or you can send them our way. You could also provide strategy, curriculum development, marketing, and design mentors.

My company is part of the corporate ecosystem. What role can we play?

In a few different ways. The biggest opportunity is partnering with an organization for a pilot. Also, you could serve as industry expert mentors. And you can always be a sponsor!

My organization is part of the social good ecosystem. What role can we play?

You can really help the orgs whether it’s with domain-specific advice and connections or assistance with strategizing for funding. And, like the others, sponsors are always welcome.

As a sponsor, what type of role can I play?

Great question! Thanks for asking:) The Walton Family Foundation Grant is awesome, but to really reach this initiative’s potential, we’re looking for financial, venue, and food/beverage sponsors.