Twenty-one entrepreneurs graduated this week from the Launch MKE entrepreneurship training program.

The spring 2018 Launch MKE graduates.

Launch MKE targets innovators in underserved Milwaukee neighborhoods, helping them learn the skills and meet the people to succeed in launching and growing a business. Its nine-week business academy focuses on hands-on training in business planning and operations. Milwaukee entrepreneurship assistance organization BizStarts also provided one-on-one business coaching services.

The entrepreneurs who completed the program this week are:

  • Diane Williams, Howard Williams Enterprise: Professional services in business development, personal development and workforce youth development.
  • Rikki Fields: Opening a group home and transitional living facility to help those recently released from prison transition back into the community.
  • Vickie Watts Gaines, Dream Big Realty LLC: Rehab properties for buy and hold, or for sale. Plans to buy mixed-use commercial/residential building to house craft/art studio and retail space.
  • Emerald Mills, Diverse Dining/Mantle: Youth entrepreneurship training, development and placement in restaurants and other industries.
  • Rochelle Buchanan: Plans to provide housing and services for transitioning inmates re-entering society.
  • Karen Ford: Provide academic support to students in K-12 during the school year, skill building during the summer, parental guidance to strengthen support of children’s academic performance, kindergarten prep services, and Spanish language instruction.
  • Jacarrie Carr, Jacarrie Kicks for Kids: Existing nonprofit that offers assistance and support via established programs, including a Shoe Program that works to enhance self-esteem of underprivileged youth.

Read the full list here.