The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC) has launched the Inclusive Ventures Program (IVP) to help small, minority, women- and veteran-owned businesses in the county by offering a robust menu of resources including education, access to capital and mentorship.

Business owners must apply to the IVP, which has a limit of 10 participants. Upon acceptance, entrepreneurs will take part in the program’s signature component, the Virtual Entrepreneurship Cohort and Seed Fund. This online experience is a three-hour class once a week for six weeks led by business consultant Will Holmes, a recruiter for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. During the seventh meeting, each participant will receive a certificate of completion and a $5,000 grant to be used for working capital.

Participating businesses also receive exclusive, complimentary consultations with legal, human resources and accounting experts such as:

  • Johnetta Thurston: Founder of JDA Management Consulting will serve as the IVP’s human resources consultant;
  • Carlos “C.J.” Santos: An Associate with law firm NemphosBraue and a board member of the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and
  • LaKiaBourne: Owner and CEO of Synergy Accounting Services.

Entrepreneurs also may apply for additional funds through AAEDC’s VOLT loan fund and Workforce Training Reimbursement program. AAEDC is a manager of the VOLT Fund, a state of Maryland program that provides low interest loans from $25,000 to $500,000 to qualified small, minority, women- and veteran-owned businesses. The Workforce Training Grant is a reimbursement to cover 50% up to $1,000 of a business’ cost in training its employees.

Interested businesses should apply by visiting the Inclusive Ventures Program page on the AAEDC website. The application period runs from Jan. 29 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 19.