Community Stories | Ecosystems + Economies

Serving the Underserved: The Commons on Champa // Denver, Colorado

From providing a tech hub to those without access to technology, to workshops designed to engage female entrepreneurs, to offering our very own CO.STARTERS Core program to the city, The Commons on Champa truly embodies the CO.STARTERS mission.

“If you’re starting up, start here.”

This is The Commons on Champa’s invitation to underserved leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the Denver area. Awaiting the Denver starter is a sequence of programming designed to streamline the success of each entrepreneur—no matter where they come from, what resources are at their disposal, or what their abilities are.

Starters are invited to begin with Will it Fly?, an ideation workshop for people who have ideas but aren’t sure whether they are worth pursuing. If they feel confident in their idea after the workshop, individuals can proceed to Business Bootcamp and CO.STARTERS Core. These programs aim to build upon the foundations laid in their previous offerings.

If a starter has already launched their business and is seeking help to build on their foundation, The Commons on Champa offers a higher-level accelerator, Champions. Participants attend monthly sessions that provide extended time with guest speakers and consultants. Starters can dive deep into the weeds on various elements of business management and scaling.

In addition to their typical program pipeline, The Commons on Champa runs an event series called Women on The Rise. Female founders from the surrounding area give engaging talks on the need for women in the entrepreneurial community. For community members over the age of 50, although they are invited to all the programming, a workshop by the AARP Foundation, Work for Yourself 50+, targets the specific needs of their often under reached demographic.

“Even if you decide your business isn’t going to work for you, that’s success in our eyes. It doesn't matter if your business is a million dollar venture, in the end,” shared Lacey Hyde, Program Coordinator at The Commons on Champa. What ultimately matters to them, Lacey clarified, is that entrepreneurs feel equipped, empowered, and able.

“It’s really helpful to have this stream of programs to offer the community,” Lacey added. “That way, I can refer people to the program that will best suit their particular needs.”

After several years of constructing a robust program funnel, The Commons on Champa is focusing this year on strengthening the services they currently offer in order to better carry out their mission—to serve the underserved through entrepreneurship.

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