Traditionally, very poor postcodes have fewer microenterprise startups, but communities like Auburn have been determined to make microenterprise development a priority. In January, the city of Auburn sponsored a pilot program for startups less than two years old and qualified microenterprise entrepreneurs. Participants had to be residents of Auburn and qualify as low to moderate income. The program was implemented by the Cayuga Economic Development Agency. The aim of the program was to encourage and support the Auburn microenterprise community.
The program included educational sessions, mentoring and networking. Presenters included subject matter experts from HR One, Hancock Estabrook LLP, Canandaigua Insurance Agency, Maple Seed Creative, In House Graphic Design Inc., Dermody, Burke & Brown CPAs LLC, Lean on Me Business Solutions and Tompkins Trust Co. Five of participants successfully completed the program and received grants upon completion. Some small business owners who were not eligible for the grant program still chose to terminate it. In order to support these businesses beyond the initial program, mentoring, monitoring and networking continue. The goal is to see these business owners in their first three years in business, which is often the breaking point for many startups. The constitution of this dynamic microenterprise network also creates a favorable environment for new microenterprises. A program where there is strong peer mentoring, community support and successful role models to encourage new entrepreneurs. We encourage you to find out more about and support companies that have benefited from the program grant and / or training sessions: