About Project 500
Research shows that many disadvantaged businesses – run by historically marginalized populations - have far more risk than other entrepreneurs as they are depending on a patchwork of contacts and capital to advance their ideas. Often their own lack of economic security is a barrier to running a successful business.
Based on feedback from Venture DC 2015 – participants, partners and entrepreneurs - Project 500 was launched in April 2016. The mission of Project 500 is to support at least 500 DC based businesses scale through increased revenues, staff, investment and/or social capital.
Capitalizing on the historic levels of economic development activity in the nation’s capital Project 500 works with businesses to help them leverage the investments being made in DC by preparing them – personally and professionally - for significant growth opportunities. The project provides hands on training, capacity building, mentoring and networking. Through the provision of training and support, with a laser focus on business and financial capacity, the program seeks to catalyze business expansion in the city, with preference for Wards 7 ad 8.
Project 500 works with city agencies and leaders to suggest policy levers that can eradicate related barriers for entrepreneurs to help bridge the gap between start up and growth stages; a place where many businesses cease to exist. We are also working with local and regional financial institutions to develop capital products that are aligned with participants’ capital needs, financial projections, business stability, risk tolerance and creditworthiness.
Project 500 is open to any business owner or emerging entrepreneur.
Complete our online application!
Please be sure to complete the entire application; all data remains confidential. The application is designed to help create baseline profiles of each business, identify areas of need and place participants in appropriate and relevant cohorts. No one is turned away from the program.