During the last quarter of 2011, Jewish Family & Career Services was fortunate to have been selected by Leadership Louisville for 7 months of intensive consulting geared at expanding the capacity and reputation of the microbusiness program at JFCS.Â Selection for the Ignite program is extremely competitive, and members of the individual consulting teams are drawn from the top corporations and law firms in the city.Â Over the past 6 months, the Ignite team worked with the staff and management of the JFCS business program to ramp-up the presence and sustainability of the program, while developing a set of materials that will facilitate the transition of the program to becoming a full CDFi.Â Individual outcomes of the program included:
- A new name, logo and website â€“ with the business program now known as the â€œNavigate Enterprise Center,â€ and individual startup companies to be known as â€œNavigate businessesâ€ as part of the city-wide rebranding effort.
- Strategic partnerships with SCORE and the MBA program at Indiana University-Southeast to provide ongoing technical assistance services to existing businesses and coaching expertise to training participants developing a business plan.
- A Navigate Business Showcase to be held alongside the JFCS MOSAIC Awards, held every year to honor immigrants and refugees who have made a significant contribution to the city and their profession, with an additional â€œNavigator of the Yearâ€ Award to honor our top entrepreneur.
- A database of corporate donors and marketing materials to diversify the programâ€™s funding.
In addition, JFCS has also solidified the relationship with Louisvilleâ€™s CDBG-funded microloan program, allowing Navigate business clients to leverage additional funds outside the agency and significantly increasing the number of referrals that JFCS receives for business development services.Â As part of this effort we have recently revised our training schedule, and are now offering four ongoing classes at once, all offered at different times throughout the day, to help meet the needs of our additional clients.Â Take a look at our new site when you get a chance:Â www.navigatecenter.org
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