East Tulsa to Launch First Immigrant-Focused Business Incubator

by / ⠀News / February 21, 2024
"Immigrant Business Incubator"

East Tulsa is set to become the home of the first-ever business incubator aimed at supporting immigrant-led startups. The announcement is scheduled for Wednesday, with the incubator to be located in the Plaza Santa Cecilia, a neighborhood noted for its cultural diversity. The incubator is a part of a wider plan to stimulate entrepreneurship and boost the inclusivity of the local economy.

The endeavor is a result of a joint venture between Tulsa city, Tulsa County, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and is anticipated to open by the end of this year. The incubator is expected to provide targeted guidance, financial resources, and mentorship to startups, with the ultimate goal of making them integral parts of East Tulsa’s economic landscape.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum welcomed the project enthusiastically, stating that successful cities of the 21st century are those that foster entrepreneurship. He added that communities thrive on innovative ideas and talent incubation, the core objectives of this project. He further emphasized that initiatives such as these create a fertile ground for economic opportunities, job growth, and bolster the city’s competitive standing globally.

Selected for the project, the Global District of Tulsa is recognized for its ethnic diversity, with residents from 25 different countries. The project’s intention is to leverage this diversity in fostering stronger inter-community connections, promoting an inclusive identity, and establishing a model for successful community integration through various activities, including cultural festivals, language workshops, and sports competitions.

Spanning over 15,000 square feet, the business incubator will offer significant support for immigrant-developed businesses. Key elements of the support include programmatic assistance, a communal hub for workshops and classes, and a market for testing and showcasing products. It will also facilitate legal consultation, marketing planning, and technology support sessions tailored to the unique needs of immigrant entrepreneurs. Through this project, immigrant-owned businesses are expected to reach new heights.

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For the project’s financial needs totaling $1 million, Tulsa city has absorbed the cost, with supplementary funds pledged by Tulsa County and the George Kaiser Family Foundation, totaling $1,520,000. These funds form part of the Elevate East program aiming to improve the standard of living in East Tulsa.

City Councilor Christian Bengal highlighted the importance of this project, marking East Tulsa‚Äôs Global District as a place for diverse cultural collaboration. He underscored the importance of investing in the area’s infrastructural development and stressed that the district will act as a catalyst for economic growth, cultural exchange, and community interconnectedness.

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April Isaacs

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