The Cultural Asset Incubator Workforce Development Program:
In the Shaw neighborhood, there are many entrepreneurial youth who have promising business ideas but lack the opportunities – the means, access, or sheer luck – needed to get their ventures off the ground successfully.
We at SCC believe that our community shares a cultural aesthetic, unique to the world, and that we should value and support these homegrown businesses, as the assets they are. Thus, SCC designed a workforce development program called the Cultural Asset Incubator (CAI) to help members of our community confront the challenges they face in a largely-white financial world; challenges which have only intensified over the last 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CAI program consists of two main programmatic components: mentorship and financial education.
In a 15-week program of entrepreneurial training, Shaw youth are partnered with the owners of local, (Black-owned) businesses, Cultural Asset Businesses (CABS), who will serve as their “Credible” Mentors. Youth will be paid small stipends during CAI training, as a show of our commitment and belief in their value. The 15 week program will culminate in a capstone event, Youth Shark Tank, which, true to its namesake, will offer youth who complete the CAI program and successfully present their business idea to the Shark Tank access to capital for their burgeoning businesses.
By pairing youth with local entrepreneurs, whose businesses have long supported and anchored our neighborhood, SCC will cultivate the next generation of cultural expression in the Shaw neighborhood while also actively supporting and investing in the CABs that have long served as the backbone and lifelines of the Shaw neighborhood community.