Project 500 is a DC based training program to help historically marginalized businesses scale in terms of revenue, staff and investment retained. Our work was launched through a public-private partnership with the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity. Our goal is to recruit and retain up to 500 businesses to receive hands on training, capacity building, mentoring and networking to advance the economic success of their businesses and their communities.
The program is free of charge and open to any DC based business, with preference for entrepreneurs located in wards 7 and 8.
Our goals are to:
• Provide entrepreneurs with training and support, with a laser focus on business and financial capacity
• Work with local city officials and agency leaders to eradicate policy barriers that exacerbate the gap between start up and growth stages; a place where many businesses cease to exist
• Convene local bankers and investors to develop new capital products to meet the needs of our participants
our values & rules
Project 500 maintains several core values to achieve its mission and build a collaborative community of successful diverse entrepreneurs.
Internally, we believe that our members:
• Must support fellow members unconditionally
• Shall be honest and respectful always
• Will receive what they give to the program
• Believe all is possible
• Observe deep confidentiality
• Know that scale is possible
• Trust the process
Externally, we want to:
• Promote the economic power of new majority businesses
• Research and amplify the business case for investing in new majority businesses
• Catalyze successful new majority businesses that will drive local economies
Project 500 has instituted the following rules of engagement to preserve the integrity and health of the community we seek to sustain. To that end our rules are as follows:
1. Participation leads to progress so active and sustained engagement is highly encouraged.
2. Members are asked to respect the process and people that are integral to Project 500.
3. Confidentiality is vital.
4. Be open, honest and respectful always.
5. Any illegal or improper conduct will not be tolerated.