Delaware Public Media

New small business owners graduate from entrepreneur class in Dover

Nov 27, 2018

An entrepreneurial education program in Dover graduated its first class this week and some of its students are already launching new businesses.


The Launcher Program’s 16 Dover graduates just spent 12 weeks learning marketing and financial strategies while finalizing their personal business plans in a classroom setting.

The initiative comes to Dover from Wilmington’s West End Neighborhood House through a M&T Bank grant.

And Dover non-profit NCALL is hosting the class as part of its Restoring Central Dover program.

Will Grimes is that group’s neighborhood revitalization coordinator.

“Each and every one of the students that were in there had ideas that can really roll out off the shelf now and be a viable business for the Dover area,” said Grimes. “Because we’re talking about things like music production and recording, we’re talking about house cleaning, event planning.”

The Launcher Program uses a local business owner as its teacher. This class was taught by longtime Janaid Salon owner Janaid Kareem.

Grimes says two of the class’s graduates already have brick and mortar locations in the Dover area—one a recording studio and the other a restaurant. He adds all students now have a better chance at getting a loan from the bank.

Grimes says the program’s success is an indicator of Dover’s untapped potential.

“In order for a community to be revitalized economically we really need to do it from within, and there’s a lot of talent there’s a lot of creativity within our communities that just need the opportunity to launch their business,” said Grimes.

The next class starts early next year and Grimes says it is already filling up.