Wednesday, July 07, 2021

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By Jessica Harker - Marshall News Messenger | Jul 7, 2021

The city of Marshall has officially opened its Cradle of Entrepreneurship Program this week to potential candidates, as well as mentors, interested in participating.

The program, which was officially approved by council members on April 22, is a way for the city to provide technical and financial assistance to local entrepreneurs through the use of mentors and other resources.

Any entrepreneur or mentor interested in participating in the Cradle of Entrepreneurship Program can go to to begin the application process.

“Whether you have just an idea, a business plan, a shovel-ready project, or even a home-based operation we are ready for you,” said Jasmine Rios, the city’s communication coordinator.

Through participating mentors and providers, the program will customize resources for start-ups in addition to building their networking capacity, increasing their connections locally and regionally, and strengthening their business skill sets.

Community and Economic Development Director Fabio Angell said that the city worked with other communities with similar programs to develop it, creating an entirely new type of entrepreneurial support program through the city.

He said that the group was able to develop two “pipelines” of resources for those who become involved with the program. The first is a group of local service providers, professionals and other skilled members of the community who will be available to offer support services to the companies as they grow. These will be mentors.

The city is currently looking for interested community members to volunteer for these mentorship roles.

The second “pipeline” is a group of local universities and other educational institutions to help those who would benefit from the program to be brought to the attention of the board.

“If you are a business mentor, involved in a successful business, learning institution, or have a products or service that could help entrepreneurs in this program, please go to and sign up,” Rios said. “You can become part of the foundation of our ecosystem of entrepreneurs and mentors that will bring success and innovation to Marshall.”

For interested participants, Rios explained that a panel of judges from the Cradle of Entrepreneurship Board will evaluate and select the best entrepreneurial teams or startups based on the business plans presented.

To fund the program, the city approved $50,000, with the Marshall Economic Development Cooperation approving an additional $50,000 in funding for the program. Angell said that will allow the program to offer $10,000 in monetary support to new entrepreneurs, along with $40,000 worth of in-kind resources, including possible housing at the city’s Business Development Center.

“We really wanted to focus on the start-up, and offer whatever they needed to help them be successful and to nurture them,” Angell said previously.

Up to five entrepreneurs will be selected to receive financial and in-kind funding. Throughout the year, the program will continue to work with applicants not selected so they’re ready for the next round of funding.

For those who may not have access to the internet or encounter internet issues visit the Community & Economic Development office, located in city hall on the first floor, for a copy of the application.

Source:  Marshall News Messenger

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