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Mayor Vincent C. Gray Launches FastTrac DC Program Encouraging Small Business Growth

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Launches FastTrac DC Program Encouraging Small Business Growth

Innovative Partnership with Kauffman FastTracĀ® Will Train Over 200 District Entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON, DC—Mayor Vincent C. Gray joined Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins, Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Director Harold Pettigrew and Kauffman FastTrac President Alana Muller today to launch FastTrac DC, an innovative partnership designed to foster the growth and success of DC small businesses.

"I'm committed to building a New Economy in the District of Columbia with strong, resilient small businesses that grow, succeed, and create jobs," said Mayor Vincent C. Gray. "By launching the FastTrac DC program, we will help entrepreneurs foster the skills and forge the relationships they need to do just that."

This substantial investment in industry-leading entrepreneur development represents one of Kauffman FastTrac's first large municipal partnerships, and will help DC-based entrepreneurs develop the skills and networks needed to create, manage, and grow successful businesses.

Kauffman FastTrac serves a global audience of entrepreneurs and provides the framework, resources and networks necessary for an entrepreneur to take an idea and turn it into a successful, sustainable business. FastTrac has three core courses: FastTrac NewVenture, FastTrac GrowthVenture, and FastTrac TechVenture, each of which is being made available to local entrepreneurs through FastTrac DC. Over two decades, FastTrac has trained nearly 350,000 people, helping them to start or grow companies in more than 15 countries. The duration for each course is approximately 30 hours, typically with one three-hour class each week for ten consecutive weeks.

DSLBD and Kauffman FastTrac began conversations last spring to explore how Kauffman FastTrac's industry-leading programs could assist business development in the District. Last summer, DSLBD and FastTrac finalized the details of the partnership. DSLBD established a goal of graduating over 200 District-based entrepreneurs from FastTrac offerings, and entered into agreements with other business-serving organizations to recruit, train and graduate DC entrepreneurs. DSLBD's other FastTrac DC partners are the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation; the DC Chamber of Commerce Foundation; the DC Women's Business Center; the DC Small Business Development Center network; the Washington, DC Economic Partnership; and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund.

"DSLBD and our partners share a commitment to supporting entrepreneurs across the District of Columbia, and Kauffman FastTrac is the recognized industry leader in entrepreneurial curricula," said DSLBD Director Harold Pettigrew. "The innovative structure and scale of this partnership reflects the enterprising spirit of the entrepreneurs we serve."

"The District of Columbia is one of America's best cities for business, and Kauffman Foundation research shows that entrepreneurial activity is at its highest level in the last 15 years," said FastTrac President Alana Muller. "As a FastTrac graduate, it's clear to me that FastTrac DC is an innovative partnership, in the right place and at the right time, to support entrepreneurs."

Eligible FastTrac DC participants are District residents with business ideas. Please contact one of our FastTrac DC partners listed above to learn more about participating in the program.

To learn more about Kauffman FastTrac, please visit http://fasttrac.org, follow the organization on Twitter at @fasttrac, or check out FastTrac's Sketchbook at http://fasttrac.org/sketchbook.

To learn more about DSLBD, please visit http://dslbd.dc.gov, follow DSLBD on Twitter at @SmallBizDC, or like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/smallbizdc.

About the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development

The District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) fosters the economic growth, development, and retention of District of Columbia based businesses, and promotes economic development throughout the District's commercial corridors. For more information on all of DSLBD's services, go to http://dslbd.dc.gov or contact us at dslbd@dc.gov.

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