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Durham Strategic Plan Dashboard

Shared Economic

Create a Safer Community Together

Connected, Engaged, and Inclusive Communities

Innovative and High Performing Organization

Thriving and Vibrant Environment

Status Indicator: In Progress | On Hold | Complete/Ongoing

Initiative: 1.11 Enhance the entrepreneurial network by connecting businesses to funding opportunities and providing training and technical assistance

Shared Economic Prosperity


Durham has a long history of entrepreneurship. Our small businesses and startups are what make Durham unique. They allow our residents to uplift their families, their communities, and the local economy. An entrepreneurial ecosystem is a network that enables these businesses to connect with each other and with the resources that will help them grow and flourish. This way, small enterprises can continue to contribute to Durham’s culture for many years to come.

Key Measures & Data Analysis

We have completed Cohort 4 of the Microenterprise Development Program (Momentum Financial Academy for Microenterprise). To date, we have graduated 30 participants: 94% minority -owned businesses and 73% women-owned businesses.  We anticipate beginning the process for Cohort 5 in February 2024.



Microbusiness Graduation

Why is it important?

This initiative aims to remove obstacles for all small business owners and entrepreneurs, especially those starting out in local, historically under-resourced communities. These business owners may not be aware of available resources or lack the established connections that larger businesses in well-resourced communities may have. Creating a simple and straightforward pipeline system helps to equalize access to opportunities and create a more level playing field. 

What have we been doing?

OEWD has been providing both small business financial support and technical assistance through our partnerships. OEWD cosponsored the Mayor’s Bull City Business Summit, a 2-day entrepreneurship conference, on Thursday, November 16 & Friday, November 17, 2023. The theme was "Resilience and Reinvention," the event was well attended. We have also continued to collaborate with local stakeholders in the Hispanic/Latino business community to build and expand our relationships and strengthen the small business support ecosystem within this community. OEWD also began preparing the small business survey for distribution.

What's next?

OEWD will continue to manage our small business support efforts. We will begin the 5th Microbusiness Cohort in February 2024. OEWD is in the process of filling the currently vacant Small Business Program Coordinator/Manager position. Despite the reduced capacity, OEWD’s efforts in providing financial support and technical assistance have remained on target. We will continue engaging with the local entrepreneurial ecosystem by supporting activities such as the Hispanic Entrepreneurs Advisory Council and the Black Business week Gala. We will also distribute and analyze the Small Business survey which provides valuable data on the state and current needs of the Durham small business community.

Budget and Management Services Department
Office of Performance and Innovation
Strategy and Performance Division