The City of Austin Economic Development Department is investing in the growth of Austin’s small businesses by offering the FASTFORWARD Entrepreneur Training Program.
The FASTFORWARD program is an intensive 12-week program developed from the IC² Institute’s extensive experience accelerating entrepreneurial success and creating wealth in Austin and around the world.
The pilot program began September 6th with a cohort of 13 small businesses that represent a broad spectrum of industry sectors ranging from fashion technology to cleaning services, from property management to media services, and from music to food manufacturing.
Participants were selected from a robust applicant pool and each was assigned two University students to assist with collecting and processing data, as they develop a strategy for growth and expanded potential. Volunteers from the Austin business community will serve as mentors to the participants.
Studies have shown that the average women- and minority-owned small businesses generally do not achieve the same annual revenue and overall growth as the average majority-owned businesses in Austin.
The FASTFORWARD initiative was designed to help address this disparity in Austin and the 13 business owners selected for the pilot group were recruited through the minority chambers of commerce and other small business organizations. All FASTFORWARD businesses will participate in ongoing studies to determine the long-term impact of the program on annual revenue and other growth indices.
Participating companies are Order Register, Alvaco LLC, It’s Cleaning Time!, BASSBOSS, Austin Art Services, Lil’ Mama’s Delicious Desserts ‘n More LLC, Lucky Thank You LLC, mmmpanadas, Crudo Terre, ReRoute Music Group, Treasured Earth Foods Inc, Austin EcoNetwork, and Austin Visuals.
“I’m grateful for the FASTFORWARD program. Every meeting is dynamic with ideas flowing to create new money-making opportunities for our businesses,” said Eloisa Alvarez, owner of It’s Cleaning Time!. “It’s exciting to implement change while being guided in the process. I’m happy to say we’ve already seen positive results.”
FASTFORWARD training sessions conclude on November 17th. Participants will make final presentations on November 30th in Austin City Hall Council Chambers, 301 W. 2nd St. from 2-3pm. The public is welcome to attend.
About the Economic Development Department Small Business Program
The Small Business Program is a division of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, and is committed to providing opportunities and resources to small businesses to help them grow and prosper in a competitive business environment. For more information visit smallbizaustin.org.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701