Starting a business can be very a scary venture. Where do you start? What do you need? How much is it going to cost and where will it come from? 

Grand Innovation helps aspiring and seasoned business owners answer those questions. Powered by Lifeline Business Consulting LLC., Grand Innovation is a 501c3 organization focused on breaking down barriers that have historically kept minorities and women from starting and maintaining successful businesses. 

“Technical services are our wheelhouse,” Lashawna Manigault, client relations and office manager said. The non-profit offers 6-week business courses and online courses focused on helping small business owners create business plans, identify funders and how to secure capital for their ventures. “Through this pipeline, we create access to funding sources through completed business plans and financial projections,” she said. 

One of those sources of funding includes the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). Through this new partnership, Grand Innovation and CIBC have launched the Entrepreneur Training Program. Business owners that successfully complete a business course are eligible for loans from $1,000-10,000 as long as they have at least a 620 credit score. An additional program, Easy Path Solutions, is open for entrepreneurs with at least 1 year in operation under their belt and a 620 credit score. These individuals are eligible for loans from $1,000 to $25,000 upon completion of a Grand Innovation course. 

In addition to the amazing loan programs, CIBC Community Development Relationship Manager Marcus Jackson is offer one-on-one opportunities for potential enrollees to learn about the programs. Jackson has office hours on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Thursday from 2-4 p.m. at the Durfee Innovation Center. Manigault says business owners have really used this resource to ask any and all questions. 

Summer courses at Grand Innovation are currently underway but Q4 classes start in October. For more information, visit here.   

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