Start Up for Success

The path to finding a job is not always straightforward and easy. The path to starting your own business is even harder. In communities where many have barriers to employment and starting a new business, people with promising ambition and great business ideas can be left struggling to get that business off the ground.  

Start Up for Success is a new United Way program that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with social capital, training, coaching, and start-up funding needed to bring their ideas to life and lead economic development in their community.

2020 was a particularly challenging time to operate a small business. Still, as many in-person jobs disappeared in the wake of COVID-19, thousands of people in our area were left searching for new and alternative income sources. Many of these neighbors want to start their own businesses but are unable to do so because they lack the training or start-up money.  

Creating opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in a post-pandemic world is a critical step on the road to recovery. Start Up for Success will help people and communities rebuild.

Starting a business lets people take on risks with the goal of making a profit or solving a community challenge. Successful new business ventures can improve standards of living, create wealth and jobs and contribute to a growing economy. 

Simply put: Entrepreneurs spark economic growth. That growth should not be limited to people or communities that have the wherewithal to cover start-up costs. Start Up for Success directs that growth at the people and communities who need it most, helping move the needle on all of our Steps to Success

About the Training Process

Start Up for Success’s training will offer a customized curriculum that empowers participants by providing a solid foundation to start and grow a business. This is done through a combination of workshops and one-on-one consulting to support their journey into the world of business ownership.

We are proudly partnering with The Apple Cart to provide training to participants.

Participants will have the following upon completion of the program:

  • Business name
  • Business license
  • Working strategy plan which incorporates marketing
  • Pricing model
  • Opportunity to apply for start-up funds
  • Community of entrepreneurs to continue the journey with

Spring 2021 Financial Opportunity Centers

Our Spring 2021 cohort is made up Financial Opportunity Center clients.

Get Involved

There are three ways to get involved:  

  • Apply to Participate. The Spring 2021 program is full. Email Anna Danese ( to be one of the first to know when applications for the next cohort opens. 
  • Donate. Make a gift to United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg to help us continue this program. Your gift will support the 10-week program and start ud investments in graduate entrepreneurs.
  • Volunteer. Volunteers help provide mentorship and guidance to Start Up for Success participants. Email Anna Danese at to learn more.


For questions about Start Up for Success, contact:

Anna Danese
Director, Workforce Partnerships
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg