Two groups are teaming up to offer the Accelerate Northside program is help small business owners on the northside of Lafayette that have experienced difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative is being put together by the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce and UL Lafayette's Louisiana Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center.

One of the goals of the program is help small business owners receive mentoring from either current or retired successful business professionals. The press release about the event from UL Lafayette details that they will also have several workshops that will be available to participants. Those events will be held on Saturdays between February 20 and March 2. Each workshop will be held on campus at either the LITE Center or the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.

There is a cost for the program, but there are also scholarships that are available. Entry into the event is $450, but you should contact Jonathan Shirley at if you are interested in determining whether or not you would be eligible for financial help.

Dr. Geoffrey Stewart heads up the LEED Center. He says,

The aim of Accelerate Northside is to help to create a sustainable entrepreneurial foundation that will last beyond the scope of the grant.

The grant money is coming from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The total amount of the grant is $300,000.

Mentors will be chosen for each of the participants by asking for volunteers among our local business community whether those people are currently working or have retired.

If you would like to learn more about volunteering for the program or attending the program, click here.

The program is slated to last twelve weeks.




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