The Damascus Project
|Launched in March of 2021, the Damascus Project is a St. Paul's ministry supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs in our underserved community. St. Paul's partners with the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), to provide financial support, education, and business training. The partnership helps promote the Damascus Project and the small businesses we are supporting, helps identify both potential clients and program volunteers, and provides funding for the services provided by LEDC. LEDC provides small business technical assistance services, credit building programs and access to capital to underserved residents and entrepreneurs in the city of Alexandria. St. Paul's made a 3 year $150,000 commitment support programs in the city of Alexandria.
|One of the programs run by LEDC, and supported by the Damascus Project, is the Entrepreneur Training for Success (ETS) program. ETS is an intensive three-month, 60-hour course in business, workforce, life and leadership skills. ETS strongly emphasizes the fundamentals of micro-entrepreneurship, combined with the basics of financial literacy. ETS is offered twice during the program cycle (Fall and Spring), with a total participation of 50-60 women over the two cycles.
Jennifer Gomez was one of the participants in last spring's ETS program. Jennifer never envisioned starting a business, but when her husband unexpectedly lost his job, she was determined to contribute financially while maintaining her presence at home. You can read Jennifer's story here.
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