Deadline entrepreneurs to apply is June 17, 2022

PHOENIX (May 27, 2022) — We Rise, a no-cost business accelerator program created to
meet the needs of Arizona’s Black business owners, is accepting applications for its next
cohort. The program is produced and supported by Local First Arizona, but is designed,
presented, and driven by local Black business owners. The deadline to apply for the
program is June 17.

For nearly 20 years, Local First Arizona has been a champion of local businesses, providing
resources and programs that help small business owners compete with corporate giants
and big box stores. Through its advocacy, Local First Arizona fights for entrepreneurs who
are marginalized through existing harsh policies in community planning and unfair
banking and lending practices. Particularly – Black and Hispanic communities. With the
intent of correcting these historical patterns, We Rise focuses on Black business owners
who will continue to support one another and thrive in the local economy.

The program takes participants through a six-month series of bi-weekly meetings and
workshops that covers topics such as business model development and planning, financial
literacy, business licensing, customer service and networking. The program also opens a
dialogue between mentors and participants about social injustice issues associated with
being a Black business owner and how to navigate doing business while Black.

During this six-month process, participants are required to save at least $1,000 and will
simultaneously write a plan for how they’ll use the funds to grow their business. Upon
graduating the program, Local First will match the amount the participants have saved
dollar for dollar (up to $1,000).

To qualify for the program, Black business owners (including start-ups) must be at least 18
years old; have some experience running a business; have a need for assistance with the
fundamentals of establishing a business; and be available to attend class (currently online)
twice a month on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m.. Scholarships to fund wi-fi, childcare or
other needs are available.

The deadline to apply for the next cohort is midnight, June 17, 2022. Visit We Rise to learn
more and apply.

Quotes from Past Participants
“We Rise really assisted me with thinking through the fundamentals of business from A to
Z. I am able to build a brand with a solid foundation.” Erika Maxwell of Crayon Box
Consulting Group, Cohort 2

“We Rise provides black-owned businesses with the information, tools, resources, and
network that black entrepreneurs need to build sustainable businesses. They empower
the participants to elevate themselves, each other, and the communities they serve.”
Evelia Davis of The Diaspora Collective, Cohort 2

“Our experience has been phenomenal. For the first few weeks, we were thinking ‘we
know all of this information,’ but shortly learned that is not true. The connections we
have made with our peers have been fun and uplifting. It is so nice to see other people
who look like you take an interest in what you have to offer and offer so much in
return.” Angela Davis-Taylor and Johnnie Taylor of Daisy Family Health, Cohort 1

About Local First Arizona
Founded in 2003, Local First Arizona (LFA) is a community and economic development
organization working to strengthen local economies. LFA’s areas of focus include
developing entrepreneurship, rural and urban community development, racial equity,
environmental action and food access. LFA is the largest local business coalition in the U.S.
and advocates for independently-owned businesses of all sizes by assisting local owners
with technical assistance designed to help them compete and collaborate, which
ultimately strengthens Arizona’s economy and builds hometown pride. Visit
www.localfirstaz.com for more information and a directory of more than 3,000 locally-
owned businesses.

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