Business ownership can be a path out of poverty and a bridge to a solid financial future for many low-to-moderate income individuals. Barriers to this path may include lack of education and experience (especially specific tactical skills needed to run a small business), lack of exposure to business ownership as a viable work/career option (and lack of confidence in their own success), language issues and lack of awareness of resources and trust in organizations that provide support.
The Path to Entrepreneurship (P2e) Program is designed to directly help low-to-moderate income residents to build financial sustainability through business ownership. Significant portions of Boulder County (including in Longmont, Broomfield and Lafayette) were designated by the state of Colorado this year as Enterprise Zones. Designating these areas is an indicator that the state recognizes parts of Boulder County as economically disadvantaged and in need of government incentive to increase economic activity.
P2e is a continuum of outreach, practical education/ programs and technical assistance that helps low-to-moderate income individuals to start up new businesses and to grow existing businesses. Each program component is designed to assist underserved and vulnerable populations to progress to the next level of entrepreneurial success (pre-startup/feasibility, startup, early stage, growth). It is the combination of outreach, workshops/ educational programs and technical assistance – customized to individuals and businesses – that appears to be most effective in helping the underserved population to progress.
The P2e program is sponsored by JP Morgan Chase Foundation and the Minority Business Office.