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REACH Project holds business boot camp for community

Posted at 10:01 AM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 11:05:16-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — From barbershops, to mowing services, to folks looking to open an assisted living facility, Max Gerall has seen it all.

“Every single weekend, in his backyard, he is cutting hair and braiding hair,” said Max Gerall, the founder and executive of the REACH Project, thinking about one of his friends. “There is a niche or a business out there that you can support or that you can benefit from.”

However, these barbers and mowers aren’t your regular barbers and mowers, they’re minorities with full-time jobs, mostly working at Texas A&M.

”It is amazing to realize that there is a duality going on,” he said. “There’s a double life and we’re hoping to merge those into just one career.”

According to the 2021 Small Business Credit Survey, nearly 75 percent of Asian and black-owned business owners report having hardships when it comes to paying their operating expenses compared to 63% of white-owned firms.

“Community leaders that are integral in their communities often[times] don’t feel seen, don’t feel heard, don’t feel supported,” he continued.

That’s where the REACH Project and the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship come in.

”[What] we do is connect people to their resources that we didn’t know about,” Tyler Jo Reason, the program manager at the center said. “Getting to be a part of that success story or just knowing about it, even if we weren’t part of it, is just amazing.”

The group is holding its second small business 'boot camp' Saturday, July 9, geared toward creating more of those success stories, creating generational wealth, and helping people connect with the community.

“That's exactly what's come of it, just a close-knit, supportive community that really, really wants to see each other succeed,” Gerall said.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship. Parking is free too.

Gerall is encouraging everyone in the community to come by and enjoy the event.