A new business incubator for female entrepreneurs will be housed in Atlanta’s historic Flatiron building, with hopes of giving a serious boost to economic growth within the city.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed plans to announce more details about the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative at an upcoming press conference.
Nearly every corner in downtown Atlanta reveals a new construction site. While the city’s face-lift is a nightmare when it comes to traffic, the potential of the major transformation gives new promise to emerging entrepreneurs in the city.
The Flatiron building is nestled near Georgia State University buildings, local dining hot spots and other popular office buildings in the city.
With a popular coffee shop at its base and access to local universities that are giving birth to entrepreneurial hopefuls, it’s a prime location for such an initiative hoping to cater to budding entrepreneurs.
Atlanta officials made it clear that they are hoping to stimulate the growth of small businesses and startups in the community and give the entire downtown area a major overhaul.
The 118-year-old Flatiron building is already expected to receive a major renovation, and it’s likely that moving the WEI into the building will help move that process along.
According to Reed, the initiative is a great way to give women-owned businesses the same jolt that tech startups have received recently.
“This is a space I thought needed some energy … women entrepreneurs are still having challenges with venture capital and seed investment,” Reed said, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Reed also pointed out that women entrepreneurs need access to safer office spaces.
With the building being in the center of a highly populated area full of students, campus patrols and nearby businesses, the Flatiron building would certainly be a safe office location.
A group of 15 women entrepreneurs will be selected to have their companies housed in the building free of charge.
That means they will receive free access to top-notch resources that could truly take their startups to the next level.
The center’s director, Theia Washington Smith, explained the initiative is the “direct result of a partnership between the city of Atlanta and Invest Atlanta” although some budget and operational expenses are “continuing to be developed.”
While WEI is one of the first incubators to be housed in the building, the entire space is expected to become an entrepreneurial hub soon.
Arun Nijhawan, managing principal for Lucror Resources, bought the Flatiron last year and planned to transform the building into a “collaborative place for Atlanta’s makers, thinkers and doers.”