SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm chosen to launch new minority business incubator
Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that Louisville Metro Government has chosen SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm Inc. to create and operate a new minority business incubator called The Well.
Founded in 1999 by Kena Samuels Stith, SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm is a Black, woman-owned comprehensive accounting and consulting services firm with three locations and 15 full-time employees.
“We are proud to fund the creation of a minority business incubator as we seek to grow the number of Black and minority-owned businesses in our city, as well as provide additional support for and increase the resiliency of existing businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Mayor said. “Through The Well incubator, SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm will fill gaps in the small business resource ecosystem for new and existing Black and minority-owned businesses.”
In late March, Louisville Metro issued a Request for Proposals to organizations seeking a qualified business or organization to develop and operate an incubator focused specifically for Black and minority-owned businesses. Organizations could propose a new incubator or use the funds to expand an existing incubator.
The city received 10 responses, and SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm was chosen following interviews with the top three applicants. SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm will receive $100,000 to start the incubator. An additional Fiscal Year 2022 commitment of $100,000 will go to the incubator to help sustain its operations in the first and second years.
The Well will focus on business development services such as accounting, marketing and technology implementation to drive sustainable business growth that can withstand potential market disruptions.
“The Well draws its name from the idea that water wells were the center of communities, providing basic sustenance people needed to survive and thrive. The Well incubator will strengthen Louisville’s Black community through entrepreneurship-driven generational wealth creation,” said Samuels Stith, who will serve as interim director of the incubator. “The goal of the incubator is to increase the number of Black-owned businesses, steer Black entrepreneurs toward high-growth, high-revenue industries, and use transformative technology to increase resilience among existing Black-owned businesses.”
Located at 1702 Dixie Highway, The Well will offer fellowships to early-stage entrepreneurs and growth-stage businesses. The incubator also will host regular virtual and in-person workshops around finance and accounting, human resources, marketing, public relations, growth hacking, and small business operations, as well as networking opportunities through monthly “Brunch & Builds” events and mentor office hours.
Through The Well, SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm will offer in-house operational support services, including accounting, human resources, public relations and marketing, and IT/technology. The Well also will provide access to desk space, wireless internet, high-quality printers and Chromebooks, software discounts, private meeting space and a database of small business resources and tools.
To help sustain itself, The Well will sell bundled memberships and sponsorship opportunities to local companies to ensure memberships are accessible to those in low-income communities and those who are facing economic hardship.