Mentoring for Mature Businesses

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Enhance mentoring opportunities available to mature DC businesses, building on existing programs such as Project 500, Great Streets, Main Streets, and others, and partnering with new programs, such as Catholic University’s new program to support 100 established DC businesses with accessing to capital.

Progress Updates:

April 2018: Mayor Bowser designated the area near 14th and Kennedy Streets, NW as Uptown Main Street. Read more here.

February 2018: Project 500 opened applications for the third cohort of entrepreneurs.  Businesses with revenue under $250,000 can apply.  The program is free of charge and is open to any DC-based business owner, with a preference to assist resident-owned businesses in Wards 7 and 8. This year, the city’s budget also includes funding for a low cost micro-loan fund solely for the purpose of supporting Project 500 businesses East of the River.  Read more here. 

November 2017: Mayor Bowser kicked off Small Business Saturday at the Main Street in Ward 7, designating the area a full member of the DC Main Streets program.  Read more here.

August 2017: In 3Q FY17, Main Streets programs have provided counseling to 218 businesses located within the 12 Main Street corridors.

May 2017: The Deputy Mayor’s Office for Great Economic Opportunity partnered with Project 500, Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif), and Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to launch Ascend 2020 DC.  Ascend 2020 DC is an initiative to accelerate the growth of minority-, women- and veteran-owned small businesses by extending entrepreneurial support systems to underserved entrepreneurs and neighborhoods in DC.

May 2017: Project 500 completed its first year of operation, marking more than 260 enrolled businesses that on average increased revenue by 15%.

  • Timeline: Fy17-18
  • Lead and key partners: Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED, Great Streets), Office of the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity (DMGEO), Dept. of Small and Local Business Development
  • Related core sectors: any but with a focus on retail, hospitalty and tourism
  • Related opportunity areas: n/a
  • Related action areas: funding, talent, DC identity and promotion