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    JumpStart's Core City: Cleveland Program


    Dressing the kids for school has turned into a business. Eduwear, founded by Nikki Mace and Michele Porter, incorporates educational concepts into a child’s clothing. The clothing is designed to engage a child and parent through interactive patches to focus on the child’s intellectual, social, and emotional development. Nikki Mace recently sat down with JumpStart to discuss their experience so far with JumpStart’s Core City: Cleveland Program and hurdles faced in launching a business. 

    JumpStart’s Core City: Cleveland Program is an important program in driving inclusiveness into Cleveland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The program was established to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in underserved areas of Cleveland through a series of four workshops on business planning, marketing, and elevator pitches, culminating in the April 27 Pitch Your Business Competition where entrepreneurs will receive a $1,000 cash prize.


    Nikki (photo) and Michele have loved the experience to date, especially the opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs. Nikki says “This is not your typical training course. It’s fun, exciting and there is never a dull moment.” They came to learn of the Core City Program from Cecil Lipscom, Executive Director of the United Black Fund. The program has provided Nikki and Michele with tools and resources to overcome some of their major hurdles in starting Eduwear.

    Their greatest challenges so far has been in developing brand awareness and market penetration. Through the Core City program they are receiving the business assistance, mentoring, marketing help, and expert advice to develop a strategy to overcome these hurdles. Outside of the workshops the program provides one-on-one consultations and business assistance.

    The program is helping a number of businesses and entrepreneurs similar to Nikki Mace and Michele Porter. The four workshops have seen diverse participation with 58% of the attendees being women and 82% being minority. To follow Eduwear and their story click this link, or check them out at JumpStart’s Core City Program Pitch Your Business Competition.


    The Core City: Cleveland Program

    Through JumpStart’s Core City: Cleveland program, entrepreneurs and small business owners who live or own a business in an underserved area in Cleveland can work with JumpStart’s team of experts through a one-on-one consultation during weekly office hours.

    JumpStart will also be hosting a series of workshops and competitions, where entrepreneurs and small business owners will have the opportunity to win financial awards or free business and marketing assistance. Find out more here.