Impact Accelerator Helps More Black Entrepreneurs Scale in Connecticut

Impact Accelerator Helps More Black Entrepreneurs Scale in Connecticut

2020 reSET Impact Accelerator Alumni Chris Prescott and Steve Samuels
Image: 2020 Alumni (Instagram/resetco)

The 2021 Impact Accelerator, organized by reSET, has selected 16 promising entrepreneurs to participate in a program to advance socially conscious startups in Connecticut. Many of the businesses in the program are led by women and people of color.

The Impact Accelerator will help startups to identify strategic goals, pitch their business, develop financial projections and create strategic sales processes. Participants will also receive accountability from their cohort and build a community with other entrepreneurs.

Pivoting during a pandemic

This 10-week Impact Accelerator will be a boost for many entrepreneurs who were impacted by the pandemic. Many businesses, especially brick and mortar retailers, had to shut down operations.

Massage therapist Dinika Hightower had to pivot her business due to the pandemic. She launched NorthEnd Rose Scent Studio in May to encourage self-care through aromatherapy products. Her products have been a hit during the pandemic. Hightower has helped people combat mental fatigue with scents that promote relaxation. The Impact Accelerator will give her the tools to reach more people during this time.

Making an impact

Emily Reisner, Director of Strategic Advancement at reSET, said the pandemic has not discouraged social initiatives. “There is definitely a sense of ‘This is the time to make an impact to create the world we all want to live in.” Reisner told the Hartford Courant. The Impact Accelerator will be the fuel that helps many businesses expand their impact.

Jermika Cost is on a mission to raise money to support victims of sex trafficking. She rebranded her resale clothing store, Simply Hadassah, in 2020 to reach this goal. “I want women who are overcomers to know they can do anything and everything they want to do,” Cost told the Hartford Courant.

Leading with purpose

Vangella Buchanan used her gifts as an English instructor to create The Writery Ink. Through her business, she helps more people share their story with the world and get their masterpiece published. The Impact Accelerator will help Buchanan gain the resources and training needed to add women’s empowerment workshops to her list of offerings.

Similarly, Khamani Harrison founded an online bookstore, The Key, to create a community of book lovers. In June 2020, NBC Connecticut reported an increase in sales for the bookstore in June 2020,  when support for black-owned businesses jumped across the country. “Let this be a change, a shift,” Harrison told NBC Connecticut. “If you can march with us, you can spend money with us.”

All businesses in the Impact Accelerator will have access to a legal specialist, tech consultants, branding strategists, and marketing experts. This program can bring more money to black-owned businesses and allow them to have a greater impact, providing the training and resources needed to build more sustainable businesses in Hartford, CT.

According to the reSET website, 87% of businesses in the programs are women or minority-owned. In addition, the accelerator companies have raised $11 Million since the organization was founded in 2007.

To join the next Impact Accelerator Program, schedule a discovery call and review the application requirements on the website.