The Brew and Ignite Greer co-brand for entrepreneurs

Several new programs are being launched to give entrepreneurs and business owners a platform to receive feedback and business support from their surrounding communities.

Spartanburg, Greenville and Anderson will co-brand The Brew while Greer will launch Ignite Greer, according to a news release from The Brew and Ten at the Top. These are efforts to provide entrepreneurs the stage they need to determine how to overcome hurdles in testing ideas, starting and growing their business.

The format gives entrepreneurs about 10 minutes to present the story of how they arrived at the current point in their business or business idea. Included in that presentation is a list of two to four problems currently impeding progress or questions they have for attendees. The final time is dedicated to the audience asking questions to help guide the entrepreneur toward a solution and moving forward in their business. Each community decides the exact format and other support services, such as guidance on presenting and follow-up afterwards, the news release said.

“The Brew is an open-invitation group of anyone in the community, whether in business, government, and civic organizations, committed to helping entrepreneurs find solutions to their business challenges within the local entrepreneurship ecosystem,” LeKesa Whitner, Spartanburg co-leader of The Brew, said in the release. “Monthly, entrepreneurs will present their business opportunities and challenges to gain insight on how they can adapt and grow. Building people in their business space is vital to creating a stronger economy.”

Anderson launched The Brew in 2020, while Greenville and Spartanburg hosted 1 Million Cups, a Kauffman Foundation branded program. Greenville announced the change to their 1 Million Cups community on March 17. They are all now co-branding as The Brew with the city of Anderson Economic Development, providing the backbone on which Spartanburg, Greenville and Greer are now building their programs.

“Having The Brew spread regionally is something the city of Anderson is extremely enthusiastic about. Seeing what this program has done for Anderson has been instrumental in our recent growth surge and knowing the same thing will happen in other communities is exciting,” Caroline Gaddis, business education and event manager with Anderson Economic Development, said in the release. “We know that giving entrepreneurs a time to connect, share stories and overcome obstacles together as a community instead of alone is crucial in developing a healthy entrepreneurship ecosystem. With the Upstate cobranding under ‘The Brew,’ we are allowing brand recognition and connecting our communities in a way that has never been done before.”

The Ignite Greer monthly event is part of The Platform, Greer’s programming to support entrepreneurs and local business owners. Ignite Greer launches on April 28 at 8:30 am at The Davenport in downtown Greer. The Brew and Ignite Greer meet on Wednesdays. Spartanburg meets the first Wednesday of every month; Greenville meets the third Wednesday and Greer meets the fourth, all at 8:30 a.m. Anderson meets every Wednesday at 8 a.m.

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