Community Carrot advances social justice and racial equity by teaching young adult entrepreneurs from low-income backgrounds how to start their own successful business.
Founded in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C. as a community response to chronic youth underemployment, Community Carrot’s co-founders listened to input from over 200 community members, most of whom come from multi-generational poverty. They told us how an entrepreneurship school or program would give entrepreneurial young adults a path to the workforce that was otherwise unavailable to them.
Research shows that access to capital, business instruction, and engaged mentors are essential for businesses to succeed. But these three vital cornerstones are in short supply for young adults from low-income backgrounds. And social service supports to address mental health, homelessness, or other hurdles, are essential for these young entrepreneurs to be able to focus on their business.
The “carrot” of start-up capital, business instruction, mentors from our community of caring volunteers, and social services supports, transforms lives of our participants. We instill a personal mission in our participants – to build a successful business of their own – which in turn generates a roadmap for demonstrable incremental steps to bring participants into the middle class.
The Carrot model is based around providing these supports to level the playing field.
If you are a business owner or community leader seeking to give back, we welcome you into our community!
Community Carrot co-founder David Sheon moved from DC to Seattle in 2018 and formed a partnership with the Social Impact Y (YMCA of Greater Seattle). The Y helped to identify our first Seattle cohort of 13 participants. The Y provided the wrap around services to support their journey. In 2020, a blend of Seattle-based business leaders and social service providers linked arms to create our own 501c3 non-profit. In 2021, our second Seattle cohort of 14 entrepreneurs was placed and supported by our in-house life coaches and instructors.
To date, 40 businesses have been started through the Carrot program, with every participant receiving their business license.
You can learn more about the small businesses and partners that support Carrot here.