Makervillage will offer CO.STARTERS, a nationally renowned platform that helps communities grow local business. The nine-week program equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action.

Unlike traditional platforms, CO.STARTERS applies the lean business modeling methods popular among high-growth startups to businesses of all kinds. This program has been adopted by more than fifty entrepreneurial organizations in cities around the country, including Detroit, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Nashville and Chattanooga.

In Northwest Georgia, CO.STARTERS will be implemented and facilitated by Makervillage staff. Participants in the nine-week program will have dinner each week as they work through the curriculum together. Individuals and businesses interested in participation should apply by Dec. 30 at: http://makervillage.org/grow. The participant fee of $300 has been subsidized with grants. Participants will be selected following an interview process, and the program will kick off the week of January 18th.

Makervillage Executive Director Ruth Demeter says, “We selected the CO.STARTERS curriculum based on its well-tested material. We know that local entrepreneurs will benefit enormously from the experiences and wisdom of other successful innovators.”

Makervillage seeks to build a thriving region of innovation across northwest Georgia through the nurturing of creative freelancers and businesses within all industries. The organization began as an investment by SAI Digital in partnership with 7hills Makerspace members. Makervillage was incorporated as a nonprofit in August of this year following recognition by the US Small Business Administration as one of twenty national recipients of a $50,000 Accelerator Grant.

“We’ve seen great results from our early experiments,” said President and Co-Founder Tricia Steele, “and so I’m excited to utilize recognized and tested curriculum to produce a more predictable and scalable pipeline of businesses and entrepreneurs in our region.”

Small business remains one of the fundamental economic drivers for local economies and job creation, but these smaller-scale startups have not received the same level of support as their high-growth counterparts. CO.STARTERS aims to narrow that gap.

“If you look beyond Silicon Valley and New York, there are countless communities that are full of talented entrepreneurs, but they lack the organized community support they need to thrive,” said Enoch Elwell, CO.STARTERS Director. “CO.STARTERS provides a structure for these communities to achieve their economic growth goals and gives them an easy way build the connections they are already trying to grow.”

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