Gainesville Entrepreneurship & Adversity Program

The Gainesville Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program (GEAP) is an integrated, multi-faceted program to empower those living in adverse circumstances to create and grow their own businesses. We work with our clients over a 12-month period.

Goals

The core goal of GEAP is to empower those who are economically disadvantaged and to alleviate poverty in the Gainesville community:

  • Foster the creation of new, profitable ventures by those facing economic or other disadvantages;
  • Assist existing small businesses owned by those with disadvantages in becoming sustainable and growing;
  • Measure and track the development and performance of entrepreneurs and their ventures based on program participation;
  • Identify and share best practices in poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship;
  • Celebrate the achievements of those striving to create and grow local small businesses.

Six Core Elements

  1. Gator Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs & Design Studio:
    1. Gator Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs: the Gator Bootcamp occurs on six consecutive Saturday mornings in the Fall and introduces participants to basic tools, concepts and principles relevant to launching and growing a successful venture when one has limited resources or background. It is an intense, hands-on experience that is taught our top faculty, subject matter experts and successful entrepreneurs. The price of the Bootcamp is $600, but scholarships are available to cover a substantial part of the fee for those who are economically disadvantaged.
    2. Design Studio: a design studio to help participants approach key issues surrounding venture creation to design their own businesses.
  2. One-on-One Consulting: The consulting initiative connects faculty, graduate students and other partners with entrepreneurs, helping them launch and grow ventures.
  3. Mentoring: Successful entrepreneurs will be paired with GEAP participants to mentor them and assist in growing their ventures.
  4. Resource Connect: Connect entrepreneurs to other resources in the community through community forums, an internet platform, and other communication vehicles.
  5. Microcredit: Create a microcredit fund with the city of Gainesville and local financial institutions that provides low-interest and no-interest loans and grants to individuals as they attempt to launch ventures.
  6. Research and Tracking: Research and tracking will be conducted to identify ways to better assist the ventures.

Who Should Apply?

Anyone in the community suffering from adverse economic, physical or related circumstances is eligible to participate in the GEAP program. Our primary focus is community members who are economically disadvantaged and have a dream of starting and growing a venture, including those who have already started a venture.

Cost

The overall program is free to the participant. There may be fees associated with particular components of the program, but scholarships will be available to those who are unable to pay.

Where Do I Start?

GEAP is a 12-month program that runs from August through July, but you can apply any time during the year. To apply, send an email to GEAP. In the email message, explain your interest in the program, the kind of business you are trying to start or have already started, and provide contact details including a phone number.

Schedule

  1. Gator Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs: six Saturdays starting in late September (dates on the Gator Bootcamp page). Design Studio: offered by Santa Fe College during late Summer
  2. One-on-One Consulting: Eight weeks starting in January.
  3. Mentoring and Resource Connect: November and onward.
  4. Microcredit: Summer 2018 and onward.
  5. Research and Tracking: Ongoing
  6. Community Celebrations: August, December and May.

Partners

  • Alachua County, Florida
  • CareerSource North Central Florida
  • City of Gainesville, Florida: every path starts with passion
  • Cultural Arts Coalition: Educating and Empowering the Community Through Art, Gainesville, Florida
  • FCDC (Florida Community Design Center)
  • Gainesville Housing Authority: Where Housing Matters
  • GNV Homegrown Businesses
  • Greater Duval: Celebrating History, Building a Future
  • Santa Fe College
  • UF Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations: A Division of Business Affairs