WYOMISSING, Pa. — The Berks LaunchBox, Berks Arts Council, and the Kutztown Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are partnering to host the Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (CEAP), a statewide grant program for entrepreneurs, funded by the PA Council on the Arts.
The program supports entrepreneurs who have a small business or are developing a business related to the arts. Funding ranges from $500 to $2,000, which must be used to support business formation or development. Eligible entrepreneurs must have at least one consultation with Berks LaunchBox staff to review their business plan.
Since partnering in mid-2022, the Berks LaunchBox has helped eight small businesses with their business plans and CEAP applications.
To qualify for the program, applicants must be at least 18 years old, a Pennsylvania resident for at least one year, have a gross revenue of less than $200,000, and intend to or operate a business within one or more creative industry areas including marketing, architecture, visual arts, design, film and media, digital games, music and entertainment, and publishing.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and creative entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for the program once every three years. Entrepreneurs located in or whose work benefits low-income communities or identifies as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC), as defined by the Small Business Administration, will receive priority.
Berks LaunchBox, Berks Arts Council, and the Kutztown Small Business Development Center are regional partners for Berks, Schuylkill, and Lancaster Counties.
About Berks LaunchBox
The mission of Berks LaunchBox, located in Suite 105 of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in downtown Reading, is to support economic development and entrepreneurship. An innovation hub of Penn State Berks, the Berks LaunchBox connects local entrepreneurs to the support, resources and facilities that they need to build sustainable and scalable businesses with a viable plan for growth. Services include assistance with prototyping, conducting market research, and connecting with advisers. Berks LaunchBox offers entrepreneurship workshops, co-working space for startups, Meetups focused on business development, a makerspace with 3D printers for prototyping, and special youth programs. Berks LaunchBox is supported by Invent Penn State — a commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student success, launched by former Penn State President Eric J. Barron in 2016. For more information, visit berkslaunchbox.psu.edu or contact Erica Kunkel, Berks LaunchBox director and continuing education at Penn State Berks, at 610-396-6221 or via email at [email protected].