Level Up Entrepreneurship Program

Level Up is a program designed to enhance small and minority-owned businesses in our local communities. A collaboration between FSC First and our partners – the Bowie Business Innovation Center, the Financial Empowerment Center at Prince George’s Community College, the Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC), the City of Mount Rainier, Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (PGCEDC) and Seed Spot – this program intends to impact small businesses within Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert, and Montgomery Counties. The program provides small businesses with access to education, coaching, and mentoring for efficient business management practices that elevate opportunity and accelerate post-pandemic recovery. The program also provides resources and loan packaging services. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can “level up” and better achieve their goals with the affordable tools and recovery assistance FSC First provides.

Current Program Offerings

SEED SPOT

2 – Day Launch Camp for Business Start Ups

FSC First has partnered with SEED SPOT to offer a 2 – Day virtual Launch Camp to help early and idea – stage entrepreneurs and small business owners in Prince George’s County and surrounding areas succeed.

Designed to help kick-start the growth of your business, this program’s topics and benefits include:

    • Defining target customers and value proposition creation
    • Developing a pitch presentation and a one-minute elevator pitch
    • Strategy for presenting a prototype to the market within 2 weeks
    • A new network of business mentors and advisors
    • Meaningful connections with founders in a similar business stage
    • Membership in a global alumni network with lifetime benefits

    The camp runs from Monday, July 18 to Tuesday, July 19, from 10:30 am to 3 pm. The corresponding pitch showcase is that same Tuesday from 6 – 7 pm.

Participants will be selected from the Prince George’s County Business Recovery Initiative Grant Recipients (BRI) group.

Prince George's County Economic Development Center

Community business owners brought their business challenges and allowed our experts to provide them with insights and action items to help stabilize and grow in Prince George’s County (PGC).

Experts provided advice on business operations, management, finance, marketing, strategic planning, business development, and human resources.  Our hope is that the relevant feedback our experts provided helps you to overcome business challenges and enhances success.

The webinar sessions, scheduled for the 3rd Friday of each month between 9 am to 1:00 pm beginning February 18th and ending May 21, 2022, are coming to a close.  In addition to offering financial services, we look forward to continuing to partner with Prince George’s County Economic Development Center (PGCEDC) to provide this type of support.

Federal Contracting: Closing the Deal

Sponsored by the Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce, this FREE virtual program opens the door to federal contracting opportunities, widening access for small and minority-owned businesses eager to participate. Detailing the process from the inside out over six moderated sessions facilitated by Value Business Consulting, LLC, the program runs on March 9, March 23, April 6, April 20, May 4 and May 18 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Topics cover:

  • Federal government contracting for small businesses
  •  8(a) and HubZone certification preparation
  • The business development process
  • The capture management process
  • What primes look for
  • The essentials of teaming

Are you ready to close the deal? Register here or email info@marylandbcc.org for more information!

Scale-Up Accelerator Program

As a business owner, you pivoted successfully during the pandemic, and now it’s time to grow. You’re eager to scale up, but do your finances align with your vision? Designed to strengthen your company’s bankability, the Scale-Up Accelerator is coordinated by the Bowie Business Innovation Center (Bowie BIC), a hub for business acceleration in Prince George’s County, in partnership with FSC First. In four sessions, the program will help you secure the financing to accelerate your recovery—and grow.

During FREE weekly virtual sessions on March 4, 11, 18 and 25, on Fridays from 9:00 – 11:00 am, you’ll access the information and motivation to scale-up from experts at Capital One and KDuncan & Company Financial Services. Explaining the financing process in full, topics cover:

  • Business credit
  • Financial statements
  • Cash flow
  • Bankability

 As an added benefit, attendees may participate in Bowie BIC’s free, one-on-one “Open Door” sessions on legal, accounting and government contracting matters.

Are you good to grow? Register here or contact: crystal.clark@bowiebic.com for more information!

Capital Matters

This value-driven, FREE technical assistance program powered by FSC First provides small businesses with mentorship, targeted support, and clear pathways to capital. Featured activities and topics include:

  • Roundtable discussions and webinars
  • Business advisory services
  • Financial management clinics
  • Education series
  • Accessing capital

The Capital Matters program offers invaluable tools for the entrepreneur’s toolkit. Below is a list of the sessions and will be expanded as the sessions are formulated.

Powerful Beyond Measure: Women in Entrepreneurship – March 24 from 6 – 7 pm

  • This FREE, virtual session presented by Bowie BIC and FSC First featured women business leaders exploring the challenges and opportunities female entrepreneurs face, surmount and embrace. Watch the recorded session here.

Next up: The Financial Management Training Series features experts in their fields taking a comprehensive approach to explain financial management processes for small business. The series includes five modules covering these topics:

Module 1: Accounting for Your Business: The Concepts of Bookkeeping – June 21, 2022, 11:00 am

Module 2: Financial Reporting: Introduction to the 3 Financial Statements – July 26, 2022, 11:00 am

Module 3: What Bankers Need to Hear from Business Owners – August 30, 2022, 11:00 am

Module 4: Transforming Data into Information That Drives Decision-Making – September 27, 2022, 11:00 am

Module 5: Tax Talk – Planning and Compliance, Objectives, and Start | November 1, 2022, 11:00 am

Don’t miss attending these informative sessions. Register today!

FEC@PGCC Virtual Empowerment Hour

These FSC First sponsored sessions are in partnership with the Financial Empowerment Center at Prince George’s Community College (FEC@PGCC). The sessions are part of a weekly series known as the Virtual Empowerment Hour where attendees will learn about various business growth related topics. The last FSC First sponsored session was on Thursday June 16, 2022 featured SBA’s 2022 Maryland Financial Services Champion of the Year award winner Lyndsae’ Peele.

Thank you for tuning in on June 16 for the I MEAN BUSINESS PART II – Business Credit for New Businesses Owners session with Lyndsae’ Peele.

We will be adding new learning sessions to this offering, so please stay tuned for more! Also, for more information, please contact the Level Up program manager @ programmanager@clrusselgroup.com.

Want more information? Contact:

Kellyann Few

Level Up Program Manager, FSC First Consultant
C.L. Russell Group, Inc. 
410-948-1701 

Partner Organizations

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