Our Pilot Program Has Begun

by Francine Hardaway

Ed and I kicked off the Pilot Program at the Phoenix SEEDS house yesterday afternoon. There are a dozen women in the program, and the Executive Director, Mona Lou Callery, also has good business ideas. We are going to go in two directions: 1) establishing a business that will suppport SEEDs itself, and 2) working with women residents who wish to try to achieve self-sufficiency and opportunity through entrepreneurship.

We are using the First Step FastTrac materials. Our goal with this pilot program is to see if we can get Mona Lou up and running with one of her business ideas, and to sow the seeds of entrepreneurship in as many of the women as want to be entrepreneurs.

SEEDs is a safe house for domestic violence victims who are in recovery or have been released from prison. The women are wonderful and enthusiastic about the program; they are scrambling right now for jobs, and face transportation issues, self-esteem issues, income issues — and all the other issues.

We will be looking for people who want to co-invest with the SEEDS women on their projects as those take shape. We’re not sure yet whether loans, mortgages, or equity will be involved, so stay tuned. We are very excited!

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