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Project 500 Overview

On April 27, 2016, Deputy Mayor Snowden announced the inauguration of Project 500 at the AU Center for Innovation in the Capital’s launch event. Project 500 is a partnership between the Center and the Deputy Mayor of Greater Economic Opportunity that supports small business in DC.


Project 500 will help five hundred disadvantaged, small businesses in the District grow in revenue and size over the next three years.




Training and Capacity Building

The AU Center for Innovation in the Capital will offer participating businesses hands-on training, capacity building, mentoring and networking. Through these resources, Project 500 will catalyze business growth and advance the economic success of communities.

The Project will leverage the Center’s social, human and intellectual capital to help the selected entrepreneurs. Participants will have access to workshops, cohort groups, and other valuable resources. Skills training will be provided in business planning, presentation pitches and fundraising, market research and strategy, and financial budgeting.

Project 500 will recruit additional place-based partners to create an innovation ecosystem for DC businesses located in DC Wards 7 and 8. By the completion of the program, at least 500 businesses will have increased their revenues, net income, staff and/or social capital.


If you are interested in partnering with the Center to support DC businesses, then please email Melissa L Bradley at

If you are an emerging or existing business, then please register to participate in Project 500.



Program Recruitment

Project 500 is open to all emerging and existing entrepreneurs throughout DC. Special preference is given to residents of Wards 7 and 8, as well as business operators in those wards. In order to provide appropriate support to applicants, all interested persons must complete a business profile.


For more information about Project 500, or on the AU Center for Innovation in the Capital, contact Melissa Bradley at

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