10 ENTREPRENEURS have begun the 12-month LAUNCH STO-ROX INCUBATOR PROGRAM
The program began with the first of 12 monthly workshops on Tuesday, March 20th. The 10 selected participants, including social businesses, nonprofits, and community initiatives, will receive support to develop their ventures through monthly learning workshops with their peers, one-on-one mentoring, access to funding, professional services that include legal, accounting, branding, and marketing, and an end of year showcase to directly engage customers and community.
Jeb Feldman, Director of Economic Development at McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation, says “Launch Sto-Rox is enriching the living experience of our townspeople by helping them to realize their dreams. We’re excited to partner with New Sun Rising in nurturing this entrepreneurial opportunity for our residents.” Program activities will be led by New Sun Rising and the Director of Community Engagement and Enterprise at Focus on Renewal, Lydia Morin. Ms. Morin observes that “there has been a disconnect between what the community needs and the people who want to start something to address those needs. Opportunities like this radiate hope and signal economic growth.”
The selection of Launch Sto-Rox participants was led by local stakeholders to reflect the community’s priorities for equitable development. Selection committee member and resident, Shallegra Moye, sees the program “as an opportunity to relight the spark of ingenuity while discovering local talent and strengthening community capacity.” The priorities for recruitment and selection were based on the results of a number of community surveys and conversations facilitated by New Sun Rising, Focus on Renewal, and McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation between 2016-17.
“It all spells progress for the Sto-Rox community” says Marlene Banks, Founder of Welcome to the Table and Focus on Renewal Board Member. “The dedication and perseverance of those who are willing to learn, work, and create jobs will secure a future for our next generation.”
Launch Sto-Rox is a Vibrant Communities program of New Sun Rising, held in partnership with the McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation and Focus on Renewal through the generous support of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.
The Launch Sto-Rox Incubator cohort includes:
- McKees Rocks Incubator supports the development of small businesses and projects through co-working, office, and production space.
- Strong Ambitious Women motivates young women to develop self-esteem and a positive identity.
- Zellous Hope Project inspires hope for low-income men with barriers to seeking and obtaining employment.
- PittMovers provides moving assistance with a personal touch for clients within Allegheny County.
- Dub Yoga fuses power yoga and dub (instrumental reggae) for a unique energizing and restorative experience in a transformative setting.
- Digital Bridges closes the digital divide by using technology and digital literacy skills to decrease poverty and nurture strong social connections.
- Teen Studio Sto-Rox T is a branding, design, and printing shop planned and run by Sto-Rox teens.
- Reanimated in Pittsburgh creates beautiful works of art and functional pieces using upcycled and found materials.
- Peddler’s Paradise creates a unique space for artisans and craft makers to connect and sell their products.
- Gazette 2.0 provides crucial communication resources to connect and engage the community.
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