CDC Diversity Initiative

Charleston is not the only community across the country that is striving to capture highly desirable high-wage tech jobs. In such a competitive environment, Charleston's Digital Corridor encourages innovation that enables its members to stay ahead in such a competitive environment. The CDC's latest initiative involves employing a fresh infusion of public and private funds to provide targeted support of business diversity within the tech sector. The program is aptly named: The Diversity Initiative.

August 3, 2021 - Read the launch press release announcing our first grant recipients


DIVERSITY INITIATIVE PDF

Primary mission

The Diversity Initiative seeks to stimulate the inclusion within Charleston's tech community of under-represented entrepreneurs and business professionals by offering no-cost usage and workspace at the Charleston Tech Center and subsidizing an array of curated business resources, mentorship and education as applicable.

Additional objectives

  • Convene focus groups to identify and analyze challenges unique to under-represented demographics with the purpose of developing solutions.
  • Provide companies committed to recruiting under-represented professionals with a modest grant to offset expenses associated with implementing this initiative.
  • Assist under-represented tech and business professionals with job placement in Charleston's tech community.

Application process

All persons/companies requesting consideration for grant funding from The Diversity Initiative are required to:

  • Schedule an in-person meeting with the CDC Director
  • Submit a business diversity plan (applies to companies only)
  • Submit financial statements from the past 12 months unless the business is a tech start-up (applies to companies only)

Qualifications

  • Applying entrepreneur/business professional is under-represented in Charleston's tech community
  • Participating company must be new to the region or be an early-stage tech business (2 years or less) committed to adding at least three (3) jobs for under-represented professionals
  • Participating company has a diversity plan
  • Participating company is committed to paying a minimum of 10% above the regional per-capita wage
  • Grant preference will be given to companies that relocate, expand or launch in the Charleston Tech Center

Funding

The CDC has set an initial two-year goal to raise $250,000 annually from public corporations, foundations, privately held businesses, public agencies, grants and civic-minded individuals seeking to support this effort to provide opportunities for under-represented tech entrepreneurs and professionals hoping to join the community.

Contributions

We accept donations of any amount from individuals as well as welcoming more significant partner investors. As an investor in the CDC Diversity Initiative, you will receive prominent mention on the CDC investors page as well as ongoing mention and thanks in Corridor media channels. The partner investment levels are:

  • Advocate ($300-$999)
  • Benefactor ($1,000-$2,499)
  • Patron ($2,500-$9,999)
  • Angel (10,000+)