“Being around a group of people that believe in your dream is important. At Start:ME they get it.” Musa Abdus-Saboor of Saboor Construction stopped by the 2019 South Atlanta cohort to share some encouragement in January (watch the full video here). Musa graduated from the Start:ME Atlanta program last year, and the budding business owners of South Atlanta listened with rapt attention. Start:ME had launched about a week earlier with an improv night, and in this second week the entrepreneurs were getting into the brass tacks of building a venture. “I didn’t even know how much I didn’t know about business,” Musa continued, “until I went through Start:ME.”
We love partnering with Start:ME in conjunction with Purpose Built Schools Atlanta. Establishing South Atlanta together means building up our neighbors as they pursue their dreams. Through Emory’s School of Business accelerator, we get to engage with our neighbors, support economic development, and facilitate training in our neighborhood. It’s a partnership that helps us pursue three of our four pillars at once! About 50 new businesses are emerging this year through Start:ME’s efforts. At the end of the 14-week course, Start:ME will award $500 to $5000 grants to ventures voted on by their peers.
Everyone in the group lives on the Southside of Atlanta, and many of the cohort members are South Atlanta locals. We believe their dreams help the neighborhood flourish. Local businesses create jobs and sustainability in our community. To show our support, South Atlanta is showing up at Start:ME from multiple angles, not just as cohort members. Our president, Jim Wehner, and board members, Lisa Haygood and John Chambliss, are all serving as mentors, lending their business experience and wisdom. We love seeing them get to share their knowledge and encouragement.
If you’re curious about the new businesses coming to town, or just want to see neighbors shine as they articulate their plans, don’t miss the neighborhood feedback night. Members of the Start:ME Southside cohort will present their plans and solicit feedback from the community. Attendees will have a chance to shape the products and services that could be coming to the neighborhood. The event will take place at our FCS offices on Thursday, February 14. Sign up here! We, and Start:ME members, would love to see you.