Success Stories From Our First Thrive Business Accelerator

In two weeks, we’ll be celebrating the completion of our first-ever Thrive Business Accelerator. Nine entrepreneurs have spent the past eight weeks attending expert-led workshops, collaborating with peers in experiential labs, and working with mentors to develop strategies for strengthening their businesses. They also received upfront capital to begin implementing those strategies in real time, and we’ll continue working with them to support additional capital needs after the program ends.

The entrepreneurs in the program will spend the next few weeks completing a capstone project, and soon after we’ll start recruiting for our next cohort. Below, we’re celebrating two of the entrepreneurs who participated in this first TBA. While they were seeking different things from the program, they both found a space to hone the specific skills and tools they need to set themselves and their businesses up for future growth.

As an artist and storyteller, Terrilynn Moore likes to spend her time creating. She knows she has to work on other parts of her business, too, but she needs structure to do so. She signed up for the Thrive Business Accelerator to be part of a cohort that would give her accountability partners and focus. Looking back, one of the most beneficial parts of the program has been the weekly goal setting. Terrilynn and her mentor work together to set personalized goals, and each week they discuss her progress and address any challenges that have come up. With the focus she’s gained through the TBA, Terrilynn has been preparing for an upcoming meeting about publishing her first novel. She set the goal of editing 3-5 chapters each week, and she’s proud to have stayed on track throughout the TBA program. After working on the book for over 3 years, she’s excited to finally see it coming to fruition.

When the pandemic began, Shalon Bowens told herself, “I’m not giving up on my dreams and goals.” Shalon started LaLa Fashions in 2016 to help women transitioning out of jail feel more confident in job interviews with upscale but affordable clothing. After seeing the hardship caused by the pandemic, she wanted to expand her business — and further her mission of helping women achieve their goals — by connecting customers with community resources and employing new tactics to reach more women. Shalon joined the Thrive Business Accelerator to gain the skills and capital necessary to carry out her plans. She’s been working with her mentor on finances and pricing for her new offerings, and she’s appreciated that the workshops have been comprehensive and in depth. While there are still challenges to navigate, Shalon has been encouraged to persevere by her mentor and the workshop providers who have reminded her, “You’re a business owner; you know how to do this.”