Rising Queens: Entrepreneurs Supporting Entrepreneurs
Helping underrepresented groups go from idea to entrepreneurship.
A successful serial entrepreneur in her own right, Tracy Dumas, founder and executive director of Rising Queens, has identified a need in her community. So many in Beloit’s low-income, African American community are aspiring entrepreneurs with ideas and vision but without the know-how and resources to make those ideas a reality.
And that’s where Rising Queens comes in.
Rising Queens is a nonprofit grassroots organization with a mission to provide equitable resources to the low-income community by eliminating barriers to help create self-sustaining lives. It provides a wide range of services including life coaching and mentoring, financial literacy, job training and development, respite care and after-school programs.
Entrepreneur Workshops Support Tomorrow’s Businesses
One of its newest offerings, supported by funding from WEDC, was a six-week entrepreneurship program. The Entrepreneur Workshops provided would-be business owners in the community with the knowledge, skills and abilities to start their own businesses, as well as a clear idea of what it takes to operate and sustain a successful venture.
The program featured weekly three-hour workshops, each focused on a specific topic. The workshops covered aspects including essentials of entrepreneurship, branding, pitching investors, scaling your business, critical thinking, management, business plans, leadership, finances and recordkeeping. The program also helped entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground with support in matters such as registering a business, opening a business bank account and more.
In addition, the program provided participants with a valuable network of entrepreneurs at various stages of business growth to learn from and be inspired by.
“The WEDC Entrepreneurship Partner Grant, coupled with matching grants, allowed Rising Queens to provide our program free-of-charge to potential Wisconsin entrepreneurs in our area,” Dumas said. “This is critically important since our goal is to support low-income individuals.”
Rising Queens reaches potential entrepreneurs in local high schools, working with collaborative partners and by word of mouth and social media. The organization has helped 22 aspiring entrepreneurs establish 16 businesses in under six months, surpassing projections for the number of entrepreneurs supported and businesses started.
TO SUM UP
- Received $24,000 Entrepreneurship Partner Grant
- Helped 22 aspiring entrepreneurs establish 16 businesses in six months
- Supports future entrepreneurs in the Beloit area
- Builds on Wisconsin’s robust entrepreneur ecosystem