QA’s to launch Minority Entrepreneurship Training Accelerator program

CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County Economic & Tourism Development has announced the formation of a Minority Entrepreneurship Training Accelerator program. This is a pilot program, developed and delivered by Upper Shore Community Development Partnership and Rivers and Roads Consulting, and it’s set to launch in January.

Funding is being provided through Queen Anne’s County Economic & Tourism Development, the Upper Shore Regional Council and the Maryland Department of Commerce.

According to a news release, META is designed to provide five minority-owned businesses in Queen Anne’s County with the tools, resources and foundation needed to scale small sole proprietorships into thriving and growing business operations.

Rebecca Clark, the county’s economic development coordinator, said in the news release: “Supporting programs like META is crucial to addressing the inequities that people of color face when starting and growing businesses.

“By providing specialized training and mentorship, this program can help bridge the gap by equipping our minority entrepreneurs with the skills and resources they want and need to succeed.

“Not only will this empower individuals to build successful businesses, but it will also contribute to a more equitable and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem in Queen Anne’s County.” 

The program will provide a hands-on business coach and mentor that will work closely with each participating small business to guide them through the drafting of a business plan, the creation of marketing collateral and establishing relationships with local banks, bookkeepers, insurance providers and attorneys as needed.

Additionally, each of the selected businesses will receive a microgrant for strategic growth initiatives that align with their mission.

The goal of the program is to place these minority-owned businesses on a path toward realizing increased revenues, improving resilience to economic shocks and becoming job creators, according to the news release.

Participating businesses must be minority-owned with annual business revenues no higher than $22,000. Also, they must be interested in seeing their ventures grow, and in being part of a network of minority entrepreneurs.

Applicants will be asked to provide information on their business, including financials, and be willing to commit their time and efforts to complete the program.

For more information about META, or consultation on starting, growing or relocating your business to Queen Annes’s County, call Clark at 410-604-2100 or email rclark@qac.org. 

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