Our Mission & Vision
Empowering underserved communities and individuals through entrepreneurship. A community that builds hope and equity to all individuals through entrepreneurship.
In 2010, a group of local businessmen were moved by the negative impact of the recession on many in the community and were inspired to call on individuals, churches, and businesses to use their collective experience to provide support to underserved entrepreneurs. The goal was to empower individuals by fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, and encourage job creation by building small businesses putting people in a position to succeed. With this goal and backing from the community, LAUNCH was born.
Over time we became more aware of the need for greater diversity among the entrepreneurial landscape. In our city, African Americans own only 10% of the businesses and women only 14%. With this as an additional focus, 71% of LAUNCH-supported businesses are owned by African Americans and 65% are owned by women, generating an estimated $11.5 million in annual revenue.
LAUNCH’s first program, the Business Entrepreneurship Academy, began in April 2011, providing the education necessary to create a new group of entrepreneurs, startups, and business owners. In 2012, LAUNCH expanded into two additional areas of the city and began outreach to a younger generation of entrepreneurs by partnering with The Howard School to create the High School Entrepreneurship Program. This effort has since expanded to nine local schools in the Chattanooga urban core, and both youth and adult programs continue to produce streams of motivated, educated graduates from classes in and around the Chattanooga area.
Chattanooga has great resources for entrepreneurs and LAUNCH's role is to make sure no entrepreneur is left out. LAUNCH is extremely grateful to all of the partners who have helped pursue the mission and provided support to the community's entrepreneurs so that they can pursue their dreams. Our success would not have been possible without all those who have assisted us in assisting the community.