UNM Anderson School Launches Inaugural Cohort for Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program

September 13, 2023 - Megan Borders

The Center for Responsible Entrepreneurship at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management has launched the inaugural cohort for its entrepreneurial Accelerator Program August 26. This marks the beginning of the 10-month workshop series, "Accelerating your Profit and Purpose: A Disciplined Approach," which draws inspiration from the book Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet.

The program's sessions are scheduled every other Saturday through Dec. 9. Following this intensive phase, the program transitions to monthly meetings January through June 2024.

This first cohort consists of 14 passionate entrepreneurs, all driven to grow and scale their businesses responsibly. Among them, 10 participants hail from local northern communities, while four are UNM students. 71% of these businesses are women-owned and 50% are minority-owned. The cohort represents the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of northern New Mexico.

Eric Maria, an indigenous food truck operator participating in the program, shared his enthusiasm, "This program is essential for my business's growth and can significantly influence the community and its residents. The mentorships it provides enhance its value and offer limitless opportunities, especially in a region where promoting entrepreneurship can boost economic development."

The industries represented in the program are widespread and include outdoor recreation, composting toilets, protective sun care and sustainable refillable containers, permaculture, e-commerce infrastructures for Indigenous art and agriculture services, wellness, manufacturing and coaching.

"Social entrepreneurs will add vitality to Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico economy and communities by building profitable and purpose-filled businesses while developing responsible leadership principles," said Jon Mertz, one of the program leaders. "Building this solid foundation through our workshop series, this group of entrepreneurs is set to make a positive impact through their ventures."

The workshop series is led by five instructors: three are distinguished faculty of the UNM Anderson School and two are CEOs and founders of successful local entrepreneur enterprises.

The Center for Responsible Entrepreneurship was created to embrace the socially minded entrepreneurs in Northern New Mexico and help connect them with national and global networks to learn about sustainable business best practices and to share Santa Fe's efforts in this area.

The Center for Responsible Entrepreneurship is hosting a "Meet the Entrepreneurs" event at the Santa Fe Higher Education Center Oct. 26, 5 to 7 p.m. Potential mentors and interested community members are encouraged to attend.

Learn more about the Accelerator Program and the Center for Responsible Entrepreneurship.