LOUISVILLE, KY– “Story Louisville” is a business and startup incubator center where entrepreneurs, creatives and freelancers come together in an ideal synergy environment to start businesses.
To further support the work of growing businesses, JP Morgan Chase executives announced the delivery of more than half a million dollars for the support and promotion of businesses owned by Latinas and African-American women, specifically for the ‘Wild Program’, which is a Story Louisville Business Accelerator.
The investment will focus on empowering African-American and Latina entrepreneurs who identify as women to create, connect and generate opportunities through a 14-week mentorship, insight, mentorship and business coaching program.
Paul Costel, regional manager of JP Morgan Chase Kentucky, said despite the fact that in the last two years women of color have grown to represent 61% of the population of entrepreneurs, the reality is that it is very difficult for them to create wealth through their businesses. This is due to the lack of access to the benefits provided by investment networks. That barrier is one they will work on through the «Story Louisville» ‘Wild’ program, and investment from JP Morgan Chase.
“Investing in minority-owned businesses is one of the most effective ways we can drive job growth and economic opportunity in Louisville,” he added.
The business incubator center was founded by Natalia Bishop, who is originally from Barranquilla, Colombia. Louisville has been her home for 20 years. Bishop shares with us that her experience is like that of any immigrant, in which at the beginning it is a struggle. When she first arrived here, she had to have several jobs. Her first job was as a dishwasher, then she worked at UPS while attending college.
“It was a very tough stage where I would have liked to know more about what the possibilities were. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. The truth is that I was always very afraid of the risk of losing all the work and sacrifice that was made to come here. But I tell you one thing, there is nothing like working for yourself and seeing the fruit of your labor and living the ‘American dream’. We immigrants have an advantage over our competitors, because we can do a lot with little. If you have an idea, we are here to help you”.
“This is a nice place where you can bring your clients, your team and transform an idea into a business” says Bishop who with a charismatic smile invites you to visit “Story Louisville” located in the heart of Nulu.
“The grant is specifically for Latina and black women, and we are creating a program with which we are going to help carry out seven to ten businesses of Latina women who want to scale with technology. I have experience as a startup founder and in small businesses like Story Louisville and we are going to use that part to create a specific curriculum for Latin women and our experience in the United States. We are very excited to be able to do this and see how it goes from now on.”
Latina female entrepreneurs are the leading demographic for startups, according to the Diane Project, a biennial demographic study of the status of African-American and Latina women. The most recent “Digital Undivided” study showed that startups led by this historically underfunded demographic tend to have higher success rates than the average US startup.
«Imagine what’s going to happen once these already brilliant women entrepreneurs get access to the right investment and knowledge networks,» says Bishop, the program’s CEO. «Through JPMorgan Chase’s strategic support, Wild is now well positioned to provide the regional community and other national partners with the ideal channel to make those investments.»