Miami-Dade starts virtual small business incubator to support local entrepreneurs

Sydney Walsh/swalsh@miamiherald.com

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Wednesday announced the launch of a virtual small business incubator.

Called Strive305, it’s an online platform designed to provide local entrepreneurs with educational resources. It’s a collaboration between the county and area partners Florida International University’s StartUpFIU, Micro Business Catalyst, BizHack and Femcity.

“I affirm that we are the most creative and innovative place on the planet,” she said of Miami-Dade during a launch ceremony at the county’s main library. “We’re going to have a full library of entrepreneurial resources on demand on any device.”

With Strive305, the intention is to help 70,000 small and micro businesses, starting with four classes about topics ranging from marketing to learning QuickBooks software. New classes will become available on a monthly basis and a master marketing course will be released in January in English, Spanish and Creole.

District 10 Commissioner and Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Anthony Rodriguez spoke at length about the need for a resource trove like Strive305 to aid local small business owners.

“My wife and I are small business owners ourselves and have experienced the struggles that small business owners face,” Rodriguez said. “I love the fact that Madame Mayor takes this as one of her main priorities because small business owners in our communities do need help.”

Levine Cava said the virtual incubator can help entrepreneurs gain an advantage in five key areas: access to capital; access to vital information and resources; access to training and technical assistance; affordable workspace; and building community.

Yasnay Montalvo is an accountant who teaches two of the first four classes that are part of the incubator. Montalvo’s family has owned a convenience store in Little Havana since her father came to Miami on a raft in 1994. She has found entrepreneurs like her can often feel like they are on their own in the business arena and agreed with Rodriguez about Strive305’s potential.

“Please ask for help and allow yourself to receive the help,” she said of local small business operators. “Strive305 is here to help you.”

For more information about it, entrepreneurs can visit the website https://miami-dade-county.teachable.com/