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Helping Austin businesses make it in a Boomtown

A business accelerator in East Austin is working to help women and people of color be successful in a growing city.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin’s growth creates exciting new opportunities for businesses, but it can also be tough for existing businesses to navigate in a more crowded, expensive city.

KVUE asked community activist Alicia Weigel to explore something called the Center for Social Innovation in East Austin, a real estate project by Notley Ventures that houses nonprofit and for-profit organizations working on social change. 

Preston James, founder and CEO of DivInc, recently decided to move his business accelerator into this community to be closer to the underrepresented entrepreneurs his organization hopes to empower.

“The challenge for people of color, entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, is the fact of access,” said Preston James, co-founder and CEO of Divinc. “We’re able to serve as a bridge, if you will, to the community.”

Teresa Morris is co-owner of Nice-N-Clean Car Wash in East Austin. 

“There needs to be more resources for black-owned businesses, and hopefully there’s something they can do for existing businesses that will help them prosper,” Morris said.

Divinc describes itself as “…an accelerator program for women and people of color.” Notley Ventures said its mission “… is to scale impact and innovation wherever it lives.”


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