In this workshop, presenters will share and facilitate about their respective experience in creating the forthcoming US Southern (Atlanta, GA), business accelerator program (named TBD) for shared ownership businesses (co-ops). The distinct needs of Southern, primarily BIPOC , and frequently producer- or worker-owned businesses will be centered, as well as a process for bringing in patient, reparational and non-extractive capital through sources such as the Seed Commons loan fund (for debt), or innovative revenue-based repayment mechanisms (for equity). Key questions will be grappled with, such as: How can our accelerator help fill the “funding gap”, identified by the Kauffman Foundation, which so disproportionately affects entrepreneurs of color?
Our accelerator will focus on the need for dignified and “essential wage” jobs, as well as housing, which in turn will address broader themes of structural racism, and de-centering the largely white supremacist narrative of the “solo entrepreneur”. Instead, the hero of our story is us, with leadership arising from resilient and innovative communities which have made provisions to do for themselves in ways racialized capitalism never intended.
Participants will get hands on with curricula development, as well as popular education methodology in order to help us co-design the most impactful accelerator possible to work locally, in Georgia, on these global challenges. We hope you’ll join us!