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D.C. Entrepreneurial Instruction and Mentorship Community helps Jamaican native catapult her tech-forward magnificence model

Newswise — WASHINGTON – (March 29, 2021) – Washington, D.C., entrepreneurs, small companies and startups take a look at the viability of an thought or product, create profitable enterprise fashions and develop go-to market methods.

The funding is a part of the Wells Fargo Basis’s technique that mixes enterprise experience with assets to create extra financial alternative for folks and a better group affect. Wells Fargo is dedicated to creating a optimistic societal affect and this assist will allow EDNDC to supply the coaching crucial to help rising entrepreneurs, small companies and startups.

As an extension of GW’s Workplace of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, EDNDC is designed for Washington’s aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs throughout all industries, and works intently to develop their concepts by free coaching and counseling providers with instructors and native mentors. The GW Workplace of Innovation and Entrepreneurship hopes this system will probably be a necessary step for inventors and entrepreneurs trying to carry new applied sciences and improvements to market or these pivoting when outdated fashions now not work.

“EDNDC is a superb pre-accelerator alternative for D.C.-based entrepreneurs to obtain the assist they should strengthen their companies submit COVID-19,” Qyana M. Stewart, EDNDC program director, stated. “This three way partnership between GW and Howard College means the D.C. entrepreneurial group may have entry to distinctive assets as half of a bigger mentorship community. It additionally signifies that we will prolong these assets to companies that symbolize numerous industries from tech, to well being and wonder, and every part in between. Now we have already seen spectacular success as the primary spherical of members advance by this system. I look ahead to witnessing the affect as this system grows.”

Shanice Black, a local of Jamaica and founding father of the tech-forward digital magnificence model Bèlsou, is within the present cohort of the EDNDC program and describes her expertise as a sport changer. 

“The thought of Bèlsou got here after I acquired a high-cost invoice for a complicated eczema prescription cream that was not coated by my insurance coverage,” Black stated. “On the time, my eczema was so uncontrolled, I used to be determined for an answer and didn’t have the time to analysis extra inexpensive options so I paid for it. Whereas going by this course of, I questioned what number of different folks have been like me struggling to grasp their pores and skin – and looking for what works and what doesn’t work, floundering for an answer whereas their vanity and confidence are on the road and being restricted by data or value.”

The identify Bèlsou originated from the Creole time period bèl, which suggests “stunning,” and sou, an historical African-Caribbean follow Black grew up admiring. A sou-sou is an off-the-cuff financial savings membership the place principally ladies ban collectively to kind a collective financial savings fund to assist their households and achieve monetary stability. At the moment, the tech-forward magnificence model goals to encourage smarter skincare purchases by connecting customers to high quality merchandise, professionals and providers which are appropriate for his or her pores and skin kind; making the method extra easy, inexpensive and exquisite.

A GW MBA graduate, Black spent the length of her MBA program figuring out foundational expertise of entrepreneurship and uncovering the challenges ladies face because it pertains to skincare, however yearned to construct a powerful community. Following the completion of her program, Black was launched to EDNDC and has constructed a group stuffed with business specialists and mentors who’ve all walked this path earlier than.

“Being a part of EDNDC has me continuously enthusiastic about the way forward for Bèlsou and its potential affect,” Black stated. “Due to this program, I’m continuously reimagining the method and a possible future the place ladies can eat and make educated skincare decisions in a manner that’s inexpensive, easy and enjoyable.”

Over EDNDC’s introductory pilot program, 75 entrepreneurial groups and small enterprise homeowners from numerous backgrounds, together with rising neighborhoods and beneath resourced communities, will obtain enterprise counseling and strategic help from business specialists. Groups will obtain an introduction to the Lean Startup methodology of enterprise mannequin improvement, together with the client discovery course of, which helps companies scale and adapt their enterprise fashions based mostly on interviews with potential prospects. 

“With out the beneficiant assist of Wells Fargo Basis, there can be no EDNDC,” Bob Smith, director of I-Corps packages at GW, stated. “Along with our companions at Howard College, Pepco and the Washington, D.C., Financial Partnership, GW is worked up and proud to assist the following wave of D.C. entrepreneurs take the proper first step of their innovation journey. We additionally look ahead to contributing to constructing a powerful, built-in, equitable and inclusive D.C. entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many inequities, the brand new program might assist inventors, entrepreneurs and established enterprise homeowners pivot to supply modern options aimed toward COVID-19.

“The pandemic has highlighted the deep inequalities that also exist in society.  There are dramatic disparities throughout training, well being and financial alternative. This program is a part of the multi-faceted effort wanted to handle these points and can assist assist underrepresented founders,” Grant Warner, director of innovation at Howard College, stated. “The partnership between GW, Howard College, Wells Fargo, PEPCO and the Washington, D.C., Financial Partnership will assist activate and catalyze entrepreneurs all through the district and place the area for inclusive financial development post-pandemic.“

The EDNDC program will present the required experience and coaching that entrepreneurs must take the following step and succeed.

“The Wells Fargo Basis is proud to assist the Entrepreneurial Improvement Community, a partnership between George Washington College and Howard College,” Anna Bard, Wells Fargo senior vice chairman & group relations supervisor, stated. “D.C. entrepreneurs like Shanice Black, and plenty of others, will profit from curriculum pertaining to their enterprise stage, knowledgeable college school and supportive mentors who’ve personally skilled the fun and challenges of proudly owning a enterprise. It is a essential addition to D.C.’s small enterprise ecosystem, and I can’t wait to look at collaborating companies thrive.”

To study extra in regards to the EDNDC program, please go to: https://innovation.gwu.edu/edndc.

-GW-

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