See how Rotary Clubs teamed up with strategic partners to help grow entrepreneurship in Raleigh, North Carolina
LaunchRALEIGH's Project Timeline
From idea to partnerships to graduation, get a sense for your project timeframe based on LaunchRALEIGH's timeline
How LaunchRALEIGH Promoted Their Program
- Website- LaunchRALEIGH.org was designed by a Rotarian. All relevant files for this website can be transferred to your web designer at no charge to modify the content for your city
The website includes an online application form for prospective students and prospective mentors.
- Social Media – Build enthusiasm with a Facebook page. Post photos of happy students in class, students working with their mentors, presentations of loan checks, networking sessions and graduates working in their business
- Public Relations – Everybody loves an upstart entrepreneur! New businesses bring excitement to a community because they bring dreams, innovative products and services, and tax revenue. Use your network to design a compelling news release that highlights the stories of 1-2 students. Include a well written story and attractive photos.
- Information Sessions - Plan to host several Information Sessions in the community you plan to serve (see link below for reference flyer). This allows you to meet prospective students, promote your program and answer questions. Locations might include Community Centers, Libraries, Churches or local business entrepreneurial centers or business incubators.
- Promotion Cards - Print up 1,000 business card sized promotion cards for distribution by Advisory Team, Partners and students. Inexpensive 2-color, 2 sided promotional tool! (see link below for reference promotional cards)
How LaunchRALEIGH Selected Their Students
LaunchRALEIGH’s Advisory Team wanted an Inaugural Class size of 20 students
- We hosted three one-hour Information Sessions in the community. We served snacks and drinks, distributed flyers, sometimes showed a PowerPoint, answered questions and invited the candidates to share their business idea. We collected the email addresses of all attendees and encouraged them to go the website to complete an application.
- We received 54 online applications. We scheduled 44 interviews (some did not show) over 2 weeks. Each 20 minute interview was followed by 10 minutes of evaluation by the 2-3 person interview team.
- We selected 22 entrepreneurs for our Inaugural Class.
- 20 students completed the 8 week program and received a Graduation Certificate.
See live application online at launchraleigh.org/apply
How LaunchRALEIGH Celebrated Their Students
Induction & Graduation
Induction: To build excitement in the community and promote the program, we hosted an Induction Ceremony for our Inaugural Class (download Induction Ceremony agenda via link below)
- This was a catered event for 100 people (sponsored by our Financial Partner). Students were invited to bring up to 3 guests. Attendees included Rotary Club members, Advisory Team and community members who had been supportive of the program.
- Speakers included a University President, a Community College President, The City of Raleigh Manager for Entrepreneurship, and Rotary’s District Foundation Chair.
- Each student spoke for 1 minute about their business idea.
Graduation: After completing the 8 week business curriculum, we celebrated our graduates with a catered event.
- We encouraged each student to bring 2-3 guests.
- We had attendance of 70 people (sponsored by our Community College Partner).
- Each student shared a 5 minute PowerPoint with the audience amidst much applause and support. Students rehearsed their presentation in front of their classmates on the last day of class.
- Graduation Certificates were presented to each student (to be added as reference)
- Advisory Team members were presented with a framed gift - a class photo with the LaunchRALEIGH logo (see reference photo)
Want to learn more about LaunchRALEIGH?
Raleigh's WRAL news covered the LaunchRALEIGH induction ceremony. Read the article and see the video through the link below.
Our Facebook page features updates from our leadership team as well as our graduates
Watch video interviews from our Induction Ceremony as well as presentations from our graduates
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