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Hopewell partnership to award $2,500 at entrepreneur event

2/19/2014, 9:51 a.m.

The Hopewell Downtown Partnership will soon host an event comprised of creatives, entrepreneurs, and community members to help spur new ideas and new businesses in a unique format entitled “Ignite Hopewell”. In a series of five-minute talks, presenters will share about their projects, ideas, and personal or professional passions on Thursday, Feb. 27. The winner of the contest portion of the event will be awarded a grant of $2,500 to help take their project to the next level. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the third floor ball room of the Beacon Theater. Attendees are invited to come at 6 p.m. for networking and cocktails.

Ignite first started in Seattle, Washington and has since spread to over 100 cities throughout the world. As stated on the global website, Ignite is “a force for raising the collective IQ and building connections in each city.” Ignite Hopewell nites that it will continue with this mission by creating a supportive forum for community inspiration and enhancement.

“The Main Street program thrives on community participation, engagement, and entrepreneurship,” said Evan Kaufman, director of the Downtown Partnership. “If we are going to revitalize our downtown, we need to look within and create platforms that encourage a strong community dialogue and fosters a new wave of entrepreneurs. The Ignite Hopewell event is just that, an opportunity to ignite the city with some new ideas, new faces, and find out who those people are that could be the next business owners and leaders in our community.”

The Downtown Partnership has recently helped facilitate the rehab of a number of Downtown Historic Buildings and has also brought in a team to help re-brand and market the Downtown. These efforts fall in line with the Main Street four point approach, a unique preservation based economic tool for revitalizing historic downtown districts.

“We need to start raising the energy in Hopewell, get people excited about new opportunities, and follow through on a solid plan that will truly maximize on the potential of this City,” said Courtney Bujakowski, a newly elected Board member of the Downtown Partnership.

The Ignite series has recently been implemented in two other Virginia Main Street communities, Staunton and Harrisonburg. Anyone interested in learning more or entering the contest can go to www.hopewelldowntown.com/ignite or call 804-446-4847.