RISE Program Graduates!

Earlier this year, the first group of entrepreneurs from the RISE Program developed their unique businesses and business ideas. The Real Investment in Sanford Entrepreneurs, or RISE Program, was created as a joint effort between the Sanford Area Growth Alliance Chamber of Commerce, Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center, and Downtown Sanford, Inc with the goal of introducing local entrepreneurs and business owners to the tools which will lead them to business success. As part of the eight-class program the participants create a business plan, which they pitch to a committee of current Sanford business owners.

The RISE Program offers one graduate of the program who is looking to open a business in downtown Sanford a $5,000 reimbursable grant to be used to pay rent and utilities. Earlier this year Jan Badgett Smith, who founded Seva Yoga (see last week’s article for more information on Seva Yoga), was the first entrepreneur to receive the RISE startup grant. According to Smith,
“The RISE Program took the overwhelming task of starting your own business and provided us a step by step plan for how to successfully achieve our goals”

The first group of RISE Graduates had a wide range of businesses and business ideas.  Jasmine Bartoe from local HVAC and home repair company 919 Service Group was able to help solidify the company’s vision because of the RISE program. Angel Mills and James Haynie plan to open the Phoenix Phyre Game Gym, a Esports and gaming center which would be a meeting place for Sanford video game enthusiasts. Melissa Caddick plans to open “It’s Cheesy,” a food truck which will provide Sanford with gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches made with locally sourced ingredients.

To learn more about the RISE Program graduates, check the July issue of the Rant online. If you are interested in applying to the RISE Program, click here to visit the CCCC Small Business Center website.

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