Business Accelerator Camelback Ventures Welcomes Newest Cohorts

NEW ORLEANS – Business accelerator Camelback Ventures welcomed its newest cohort of entrepreneurs who will receive free coaching, capital and access to professional connections through virtual workshops to better grow their businesses and navigate the COVID-19 economic downturn. All of these New Orleans-based tech companies seek to solve a number of societal needs: small business inclusion, safe access to local businesses in light of the pandemic, and financial literacy services.

“We are clearly seeing that local business owners are struggling to keep their doors open in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions it continues to place on consumer movement and employment opportunities,” said Camelback Ventures founder and CEO Aaron Walker. “COVID-19 is also hitting minority business owners the hardest. We have a serious problem and CBV continues to find equitable solutions.”

A recent report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the number of African-American business owners plummeted from 1.1 million in February 2020 to 640,000 in April 2020.

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Camelback Ventures’ ‘Local Economies’ program is focused on economic and workforce development. The underrepresented entrepreneurs who applied for the four-month fellowship will receive coaching, capital, connections, community and curriculum resources. Local Economies also provides intensive workshops run by experienced professional development coaches as well as intensive one-to-one growth strategy consulting. 

“As a 4th generation agriculturalist in New Orleans and full-time farmer, I work to empower Black urban and rural farms by helping them to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to market using technology,” said Camelback Ventures Local Economies alumnus Kaleb Hill, “Due to COVID-19 and with CBV’s support, I had to pivot and reimagine my business model to meet the immediate needs of individuals by recently launching a new e-commerce platform.”

CBV said it is working to optimize the opportunities presented in our current economy and societal needs. The national organization has also created “Alumni Relief” support to equip its network of alumni located in New Orleans and across the country with critical COVID-19 related resources. CBV hopes these resources will increase the survival rate of many of these new ventures who are facing unprecedented economic hardship due to the current economy.

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