Founded by Henry Rock, CSL originated from the need to foster entrepreneurial activity among young Black men in urban America, aiming to shift them from the sidelines to the startup game. CLS was recently featured in an article by Blavity that acknowledged 10 Black-led community service organisations making a real difference.
Henry Rock, a facilitator of the Kauffman Foundation’s Icehouse Entrepreneurship and FastTrac New Venture Programs, delivered a TEDx talk in Charlotte in 2013, advocating for the reimagining of young Black men as a new class of entrepreneurs.
The hybrid accelerator/incubator initiated by CSL targets young Black men aged 18-34, focusing on building human capital, social capital, and economic capital.
The program gained momentum with the Restorative Pathways Project in collaboration with Atrium Health in 2022. ARPA funding from Mecklenburg County and support from the Charlotte Area Fund facilitated the second cohort of REEP using the LBD model in 2023.
As Atrium Health expands its footprint, REEP plans to extend its efforts to Winston Salem, NC, and other markets.
With two cohorts per year, REEP remains dedicated to creating opportunities for socio-economic mobility among those often overlooked in traditional entrepreneurial spaces.