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July 12, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Entrepreneurship for All opening shop in South Carolina’s Low Country region

The business accelerator program will provide individuals residing in four counties with the training and support needed to start, grow, and sustain a business or nonprofit.

Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate economic and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship, has announced the launch of a new program in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina.

Available virtually and at no cost to participants, the business accelerator program will provide individuals residing in Beaufort (Hilton Head Island), Colleton (Walterboro), Hampton, and Jasper Counties with the training and support needed to start, grow and sustain a business or nonprofit.

The Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) of South Carolina, a nonprofit that works to create communities rich in equity, opportunity, and well-being, provided EforAll with a critical, early-stage catalyst grant to help accelerate its launch. A recent report published by CCF found that, while Lowcountry cities have experienced rapid economic growth, rural areas of these coastal counties continue to struggle economically. The report outlines the long-standing challenge of racial divides that have caused minority community members – particularly those with an entrepreneurial spirit and dreams of starting businesses – to feel excluded from economic opportunities.

“We see so much opportunity for EforAll to fill a gap, as we focus our efforts on reaching aspiring entrepreneurs who typically feel left out of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including women, people of color, immigrants, and veterans,” said Meralis T. Hood, Chief Executive Officer of Lowell, MA-based EforAll. “Across all the communities we serve, 84 percent of our graduating ventures are women-owned ventures and 69 percent are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) owned, so we know we can make a difference in South Carolina.”

To date, EforAll alumni have launched more than 1,400 businesses. In 2022 alone, its businesses provided 2,108 local jobs and generated over $66 million in revenue, despite the pandemic. Programs are available in both English and Spanish. EforAll’s current locations include Longmont, CO.; Maine; Northwest Arkansas; Rhode Island; and several Massachusetts communities.

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