Opportunity Asheville & WNC

Catalyst Cohort

Mountain BizWorks has launched a new inclusive entrepreneurship program to provide ongoing business and leadership skills-development for entrepreneurs of color.

Applications must be completed and submitted no later than 11:59 pm on Sunday, October 31, 2021. Applications submitted after the deadline or that are incomplete (i.e. missing required information) will not be considered. Selected participants will be notified by November 8, 2021. 

Participants of Catalyst Cohort will be embedded in a peer advisory group facilitated by an experienced growth coach. They will also gain access to one-on-one mentoring, expert speakers, business development services, and other opportunities for transformational learning.

Over the course of 12 months, you will meet regularly via Zoom for two hours with a peer group of fellow business owners, all led by a facilitator. During this time, you will navigate through business challenges using the collective intelligence of others by contributing wisdom, encouragement and accountability towards your goals for the purpose of achieving better results in your business.

For the first three months, participants will get exposure to foundational business strategies and develop an actionable plan. Then the group will meet on a monthly basis in mastermind sessions to share their progress and continue to get support from the group. Throughout the program, participants will be able to take advantage of individualized coaching sessions with program facilitators and Mountain BizWorks coaches. Each participant will also get $2,000 to apply towards tailored business services to help advance their growth goals.

Meet our first Catalyst Cohort

The 10 small businesses participating in the first Catalyst Cohort program were selected from a highly competitive pool of 22 applicants.

Meet the cohort

What’s Included:

You’ll combine a foundation in multiple business disciplines to create a springboard for the future of your business through:

A Peer Advisory Group 
Get matched with and meet twice a month with a peer group of fellow business owners. As a member of the group, you will receive accountability by your peers to achieve your individual business goals through invaluable outside perspectives on a few major business challenges and gain increased confidence that you’re taking the right actions to achieve your goals.

Customized Business Development Services
Get down to business with $2,000 to use towards the cost of services such as marketing, legal fees, bookkeeping, accounting, HR, insurance, credit repair, and other business development services.

Growth Coaching
Receive personal business coaching sessions. Meet individually, once a month with a coach who will help you explore the different aspects of your business, dig deeper and find answers for the challenges you face, while building the skills and confidence you’ll need to succeed.

Guest Speakers
Experienced guest speakers will join in on the conversation and take you on a deep dive into their field of expertise. You will have a chance to get your most challenging business questions answered and learn from these skilled business leaders.

Access to Learning Resources
Go beyond the classroom and spend time learning from our foundational content for continuous transformational learning to develop a strong base in strategy, management, accounting, marketing, operations and finance.

Professional Networking
Join forces with peers from a wide array of life experiences that will challenge and inspire you, will unlock new business opportunities, and will create a climate of collaboration in which you can grow personally and professionally.


Who This Program Is For:

This program is designed for existing Entrepreneurs of Color whose business has strong job growth potential and want to boost their business profitability while further developing their professional network.


Program Outcomes:

  • Accountability in achieving individual business goals with invaluable outside perspectives on major business challenges.
  • The ability to set, stick to, and achieve big goals.
  • Increased confidence that you’ve made the right decisions and are taking the right actions to achieve your goals.
  • Solutions and ideas, which come from brainstorming with the group.
  • Tapping into the experience and skills of others, including the Facilitator.
  • An instant and valuable support network.
  • A sense of shared endeavor.
  • A boost to your everyday positive mental attitude.
  • An unyielding commitment to constant learning.
  • Clearly written goals and specific plans laid out to achieve them.
  • Concrete steps taken towards achieving your goals, with the support and guidance of your facilitators, peers, coaches and access to technical services.

3rd Cohort Program Dates:

Kick Off Event – November 18 – 6pm – 7:30pm

Intensive Sessions
December 02 –  5:30pm – 7:30pm
December 16 –  5:30pm – 7:30pm
January 06 –  5:30pm – 7:30pm
January 20 –  5:30pm – 7:30pm

Monthly Mastermind Session
February 03 2022 – October 06, 2022, every first Thursday of the month from 5:30pm – 7:30pm


Deadline to Apply:

The online application will be opened until October 31, 2021. Applications must be completed and submitted no later than 11:59 PM on Sunday, October 31. Applications submitted after the deadline or that are incomplete (i.e. missing required information) will not be considered. Selected participants will be notified by November 8, 2021 . 


How Much Does it Cost:

Thanks to generous support from Buncombe County and others, there is no cost to participate in the program.


Apply now

Interested in participating in the next cohort?

We are now accepting applications for our second Catalyst Cohort slated to being in May 2021. Click below to Apply!