CO.STARTERS in Communities
We have the honor of serving the entrepreneurs and small businesses of Birmingham by taking CO.STARTERS into the North Birmingham and Pratt/Ensley neighborhoods. This initiative gives us a chance to “Put People First” as Mayor Woodfin has mandated by serving residents, existing small business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs in these communities to reduce or eliminate barriers to starting and growing businesses. Create Birmingham will also partner with The Dannon Project to design a track for re-entering residents.
CO.STARTERS equips entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action. Facilitated by an experienced entrepreneur, you’ll identify assumptions about why and how your ventures will work and then talk to customers to validate your ideas. Learn the ins and outs of how to turn your passion into a sustainable and thriving venture.
Panels with successful entrepreneurs / A three-hour hands-on workshop / Three four-week modules / Continuing education / Funding opportunities.
Financial aid is available for businesses and/or residents in the Pratt/Ensley and North Birmingham communities.
The CO.STARTERS in Communities Team
Jacqueline Jones / Public Relations Manager
Jacqueline is a University of Alabama alumna, a graduate of the CO.STARTERS program, and the owner of One Degree MMM marketing firm. One Degree has been in business for five years and Jacqui has more than eight years of experience in the marketing industry. With a passion for small business development, Jacqui provides consultation and marketing coaching to entrepreneurs to aid them in doing the best they can with the resources they have.
Autumn Foster / Performance & Metrics Manager
For nearly ten years, Autumn Sanders Foster has worked with Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and nonprofits, helping them grow their businesses by understanding their customers. She launched Quire in 2017 to bring ethnographic research and design thinking to organizational leaders who are looking for a way forward. A proud graduate of CO.STARTERS, Autumn has worked with companies across a range of industries including education, arts, health care, retail, human resources, CPG, consumer electronics, and food.
Salaam Green / Project Manager, Pratt Ensley
Salaam Green is a CO.STARTERS alum, social entrepreneur, and daughter of Alabama’s Black Belt. As owner and founder of Literary Healing Arts and Red Couch Writers, she can be found helping others write to heal on red couches across the city. She is a New Economy Coalition Climate Solutions Fellow and an advocate for environmental and restorative justice in rural Alabama. A writer and storyteller, her work has appeared in The Birmingham Times, Scalawag, Bust, Feminist Review, Black Youth Project, Elephant Journal, Southern Women’s Review, AL.com, Birmingham Arts Journal and more.
Tanisha Foster / Project Manager, North Birmingham
Tanisha Foster, a savvy and ambitious health educator, is the founder of Chop Friendly. She started Chop Friendly in 2018 after teaching her family, friends, and those caring for her toddler son how to include him by offering and safely preparing allergy-free foods. Tanisha is now promoting food allergy awareness and inclusion, educating, and providing tools to schools, daycares, restaurants, and other families in the Birmingham metro area. An alumna of CO.STARTERS, UAB, and the University of Alabama, this health education mompreneur is using her experience to provide research-based curriculums to decrease incidences of food allergy related cases.
Our expansion of the CO.STARTERS program is made possible in large part thanks to a Building Opportunities for Lasting Development (BOLD) grant from the City of Birmingham’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.