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Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce extends application deadline for Project Accelerate

Downtown Dayton sits on the bank of the Great Miami River, as seen on Oct. 2, 2022.
Jordan Laird
Downtown Dayton sits on the bank of the Great Miami River, as seen on Oct. 2, 2022.

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for Project Accelerate through October 7, 2023.

The program, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase and Co., provides military and veteran business owners with networking opportunities.

Gail Francis Johnson, the Project Manager for Project Accelerate, says that military and veteran business owners have great transferable skills but may be just starting to form their companies.

“Sometimes, because they have served our country, they might have entered being a small business a little later than other entrepreneurs. So, this platform is to help them scale, take those transferable skills, and help them move into new markets they have not considered," Johnson said.

The project is targeted toward veteran or military business owners who are women, Black, Hispanic and Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities. However, anyone can apply.

Johnson says the goal is to help close the wealth gap.

“We are helping diverse entrepreneurs from across the country and, most importantly, in our Dayton region, to help scale their business and provide access to business contacts.”

Fifty participants will be selected and divided into two groups. They will meet virtually for training meetings from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of their week.

  • Group 1 will meet Oct. 24 – 26.
  • Group 2 will meet Oct. 31 – Nov. 2.

Each day will include a motivational talk by a military or veteran business owner and a series of seminars on topics like how to grow a business, the basics of accounting, scaling, and access to capital.

Representatives from companies such as JPMorgan Chase and Co., Eaton Financial, Coca Cola, Kroger, and Procter and Gamble will speak about what it takes to contract with large companies. They will also provide connections to participants. Speakers from the Student Veterans of America will hold seminars on how to get contracts with the government.

Johnson says the program includes a mentorship after the week of seminars.

“We also will match you with an executive in residence and you will work with that person on a one on one basis for five hours to work on specific goals," Johnson explained.

In order to apply, companies must have been in business for at least a year and have made more than $100,000 in revenue. The program is free and no documents are required to apply.

Johnson said, “We just need your time, your vision, and the desire to see what it takes to grow and scale your business.”

Applications can be submitted at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce website.