Westchester Economic Development Preps For Second Year of ‘Launch 1000’ Program

WHITE PLAINS—Following the huge success of its new “Launch 1000” Program this year, Westchester County’s Office of Economic Development is gearing up for its second performance in 2022. The new entrepreneurship program graduated its first class of 59 new entrepreneurs at the end of September, with 50 of them already generating revenue.

Deborah Novick, the county’s Director for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is credited with starting the program that is offered free to any Westchester resident with an idea and a dream of owning their own business. Her idea was conceived during the midst of the pandemic in 2020, and launched last October. “We were looking for ways to help businesses and so many people stuck at home,” explained Bridget Gibbons, Westchester’s Director of Economic Development. “This was no small task, so kudos to Deborah.”

To accomplish this, the county hired the firm Entrepreneur Ready, to conduct a 20-week online program that people could complete at home. “The course basically provides all of necessary information on how to take an idea to a viable business launch,” added Gibbons.

Program modules include topics like: “Will Customers Want This,” “Finding Clients,” “How Will Everything Get Done,” “Planning the Financial Model” and more.

Founded by Pam Hoelzle, Entrepreneur Ready offers a unique step-by-step roadmap for potential new business owners. For the past 12 years, the firm has worked with a team to develop innovative technology, community building processes and acceleration coaching.

Initially, more than 780 signed up, and while there were many who didn’t complete the entire 20 weeks, Gibbons is still excited about the outcome. “It was incredibly well received during a very tough time,” she said. “We had a lot of positive feedback and were thrilled with how many completed the course.”

Gibbons noted that applicants came from just about every zip code in the county, and every ethnicity and income level as well. “We even had a few homeless people take advantage of the program, and we loaned out laptops and provided free WIFI,” she said.

The Launch 1000 program, which will be offered again in the first quarter of 2022, includes weekly course work, mentors, coaches and a $2,500 business grant for each person who completes the entire program. The ultimate goal is to help launch 1,000 new businesses.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Real Estate In-Depth.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.