Use our Diversity Database Update Form to submit changes to your program.

Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute

Multicultural Programming

Groups Served
Collegiate

Program Website
Visit the Program Website

Contact Information
Jennifer Sherer
jsherer@gsu.edu

Address
55 Park Place
Atlanta, GA 30303

Campus
Alpharetta, Atlanta, Buckhead, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody, Newton

Funding

Institutional Funding (e.g., President's Office, Provost Office, College or Academic Unit, Departmental Funding),Private Foundation

Overview

Georgia State’s Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund (MSESF) program supports underrepresented student entrepreneurs, recent alumni and Georgia State community entrepreneurs with seed funding and mentorship to start and grow new ventures.

Benefits

Twenty-six entrepreneurs participated in the inaugural program in 2019-2020, with 46% identifying as female, 65% as African American, 26% as Asian/South Asian and 35% from the immigrant community. All entrepreneurs in the program received the following benefits:

  • 1:1 mentoring and coaching from dedicated entrepreneurs in residence
  • Grant funding to launch and grow of their businesses90o m
  • Customized workshops led by experienced professionals to learn how to launch, grow and operate their businesses
  • Establishment of a peer network of diverse individuals with common interests, goals and challenges (e.g. related to starting a business)
  • Introductions to funders and other programs throughout Metro Atlanta who invest in and/or support minority-owned businesses
  • Increased visibility for the entrepreneurs and their businesses through media coverage, a public pitch competition and a business showcase

Supplemental Materials

MSESF Infographic

Discipline Focus
Not discipline specific (University-Wide)

Diversity Group ( Social Identity)
First Generation, Gender, Military/Veteran Status, Race/Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status

Race/Ethnic Group
Other, All of these are "underrepresented" in entrepreneurship

Program, Initiative, Policy or Sponsored Award Category

Priority 2: Multicultural Programming

Established
03/01/2019

Number Served
0-50

Notable Leaders, Stakeholders, or Speakers

Mark Becker
Wendy Hensel
David Cummings
Joey Womack
Sheila Burney

Research Routines, Responsibilities and Activities

Committee/council/group/advisory board/task force, Specialized center, Program sponsored (in-house) professional development sessions/ training/coursework (e.g., workshops, test preparation, mini-courses, specialized course, conference presentations, resume/cv building, modules, professional development etiquette, facilitated discussion, panel, summit, educational programming, speaker series), Orientation/Onboarding, creation of materials (syllabi, templates, tool-kits, lists, resources (printed or web-based), Community outreach (e.g., townhall, alumni engagement, meetings to gauge community perception or campus constituents, movements), Practices & Procedures (e.g., accountability, recruitment, retention, hiring, promotion, tenure, compensation, guided pathways (leadership), financial aid, technology, land use and acknowledgement, vendor agreements, partnerships with educational, labor, government, business and community organizations), Exhibit(s)

Additional Research Components, Roles and Responsibilities

The Main Street program as a whole is designed to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses. In all of the activities indicated above, there is an intentional focus on customized support and meeting the needs of these entrepreneurs, which differ from non-minority entrepreneurs. Individuals involved with the program, whether as mentors, workshop instructors, or otherwise, have experience working with and/or are themselves underrepresented entrepreneurs and professionals.

Self-efficacy Emphasis

1:1 mentoring and coaching; workshops; public pitch competition, business showcase and networking with investors, customers, strategic partners, corporate executives and university administrators

Acknowledgement/Affirmation of Identity, Strengths, Needs

The Main Street program as a whole is designed to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses. In all of the activities indicated above, there is an intentional focus on customized support and meeting the needs of these entrepreneurs, which differ from non-minority entrepreneurs. Individuals involved with the program, whether as mentors, workshop instructors, or otherwise, have experience working with and/or are themselves underrepresented entrepreneurs and professionals.

Examples of Inclusionary Practices and Activities

Structured Dialogues and Interactions (e.g. lab discussions, one-on-one sessions, virtual dialogues), Orientation (e.g. reviewing norms, expectations, structures, goals and/or protocols), Creation of a Safe space/ climate/environment

Participant Empowerment

Coaching, Feeder pathways (e.g. existing partnerships with programs at similar or next level of the academic pipeline), Knowledge transfer to the community (e.g., parents, peers, stakeholders), Mentoring opportunities

Mentoring Components

Mentors provide regular scheduled meetings with mentees, Mentors provide psychological and or emotional support, Mentors provide support with goal setting and or career planning, Mentors provide support with academic or discipline specific knowledge through direct teaching

Opportunities to Privilege Voice

All of the above (e.g. program end retreat; participant surveys; newsletters, social media and customized web page)

Evaluation Methods

average attendance to events, external review/evaluation, outreach partnerships, annual performance report, newsletter, program survey(s)

Anticipated Participant Outcomes

Other

Other: advance to external accelerator/entrepreneur program, raise capital, grow their business, sustain self-employment

Key Performance Indicators

Included in attached Mid-Year and Final Reports prepared for Sponsor

Program, Initiative, Policy or Sponsored Award Category

Priority 2: Multicultural Programming

Established
03/01/2019

Number Served
0-50

Notable Leaders, Stakeholders, or Speakers

Mark Becker
Wendy Hensel
David Cummings
Joey Womack
Sheila Burney

Research Routines, Responsibilities and Activities

Committee/council/group/advisory board/task force, Specialized center, Program sponsored (in-house) professional development sessions/ training/coursework (e.g., workshops, test preparation, mini-courses, specialized course, conference presentations, resume/cv building, modules, professional development etiquette, facilitated discussion, panel, summit, educational programming, speaker series), Orientation/Onboarding, creation of materials (syllabi, templates, tool-kits, lists, resources (printed or web-based), Community outreach (e.g., townhall, alumni engagement, meetings to gauge community perception or campus constituents, movements), Practices & Procedures (e.g., accountability, recruitment, retention, hiring, promotion, tenure, compensation, guided pathways (leadership), financial aid, technology, land use and acknowledgement, vendor agreements, partnerships with educational, labor, government, business and community organizations), Exhibit(s)

Additional Research Components, Roles and Responsibilities

The Main Street program as a whole is designed to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses. In all of the activities indicated above, there is an intentional focus on customized support and meeting the needs of these entrepreneurs, which differ from non-minority entrepreneurs. Individuals involved with the program, whether as mentors, workshop instructors, or otherwise, have experience working with and/or are themselves underrepresented entrepreneurs and professionals.

Please describe how your program addresses self-efficacy (one's beliefs in their own ability to execute behaviors necessary to perform) in its participants?

1:1 mentoring and coaching; workshops; public pitch competition, business showcase and networking with investors, customers, strategic partners, corporate executives and university administrators

How does your program acknowledge or affirm individuals’ different identities, strengths, or needs?

The Main Street program as a whole is designed to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses. In all of the activities indicated above, there is an intentional focus on customized support and meeting the needs of these entrepreneurs, which differ from non-minority entrepreneurs. Individuals involved with the program, whether as mentors, workshop instructors, or otherwise, have experience working with and/or are themselves underrepresented entrepreneurs and professionals.

Inclusionary practices/activities utilized in your program:

Structured Dialogues and Interactions (e.g. lab discussions, one-on-one sessions, virtual dialogues), Orientation (e.g. reviewing norms, expectations, structures, goals and/or protocols), Creation of a Safe space/ climate/environment

Participant Empowerment

Coaching, Feeder pathways (e.g. existing partnerships with programs at similar or next level of the academic pipeline), Knowledge transfer to the community (e.g., parents, peers, stakeholders), Mentoring opportunities

Mentoring Components

Mentors provide regular scheduled meetings with mentees, Mentors provide psychological and or emotional support, Mentors provide support with goal setting and or career planning, Mentors provide support with academic or discipline specific knowledge through direct teaching

Opportunities to Privilege Voice

All of the above (e.g. program end retreat; participant surveys; newsletters, social media and customized web page)

Evaluation methods are used to substantiate the program’s outcomes:

average attendance to events, external review/evaluation, outreach partnerships, annual performance report, newsletter, program survey(s)

Anticipated participant outcomes for your program:

Other

Other: advance to external accelerator/entrepreneur program, raise capital, grow their business, sustain self-employment