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The Goal Of The Program Is To Teach Baltimore Companies How To Establish An Internet Presence

GoDaddy, a web hosting company, announced Monday that it will launch a program to Baltimore to help small companies boost their web presences.

Empower Baltimore will be the name of the program, which will be launched in cooperation with Impact Hub Baltimore, a local community workspace. Throughout the year of 2022, GoDaddy volunteers will train roughly 150 small and microbusinesses – companies with ten or fewer employees — in skills such as customer discovery, brand building, web content, marketing, and e-commerce.

Empower Baltimore is part of GoDaddy’s Empower by GoDaddy program, a four-year-old initiative that partners with local NGOs in 40 locations throughout the country to assist businesses develop these abilities.

Michelle Geiss, co-founder and executive director of Impact Hub Baltimore, believes that having a strong online presence is critical to a small business’s success.

“In order to develop, small businesses must constantly reach out to new consumers and promote their brand.” “A local business can survive for a while on word of mouth, personal networks, and in-person engagements, but without an internet presence, they’ll hit a wall,” Geiss said. “Having a website serves as the front door to your small business, especially in this day and age when we rely on the internet for almost everything.” It allows customers to learn more about who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. It makes a good initial impression and can be a good way to sell goods and services. In order to stay competitive in today’s economy, businesses must have a digital presence. The good news is that there are tools available to make this more accessible than ever before.”

GoDaddy will be able to interact with small local businesses through Impact Hub, which will also assist in the selection of participants.

“Partnering on-the-ground locally with organizations like Impact Hub Baltimore allows us to meet entrepreneurs right where they are, no matter their circumstance or zip code, and provide them with customizable programs that uniquely fit their journey to entrepreneurship,” said Stacy Cline, senior director of corporate sustainability at GoDaddy.

Each cohort will have thirty entrepreneurs, with five cohorts joining the program each year. The six-week program includes free in-person seminars led by Q Ragsdale and Bakari Jones, respectively, Impact Hub Baltimore’s director of acceleration and Empower program manager, with GoDaddy specialists on hand to assist as required. Participants will also receive a free domain, as well as other web products and support.

Those who are not accepted into the program will have access to self-guided online courses, which Geiss hopes will be used by at least 500 businesses.

Entrepreneurs can apply for future cohorts on the program’s website, www.empowerbaltimore.com, even if the first cohort has already been picked.

The program’s inaugural cohort will meet for the first time on Feb. 15, with the program’s opening ceremony on Feb. 17. The event, dubbed “A Night of Neighborhood Storytelling Presented by The Medicine Show,” will take place at Baltimore Center Stage and feature local singers and artists.