1000 new companies. With four employees each. Sure it’s a hefty goal, but it’s doable. Every day another community gets closer to reaching it. As a champion for small business and entrepreneurs in your community, you can do it too.

We partner with hundreds of community organizations to provide access to 1000 Four, our virtual hub for small business owners and entrepreneurs. These organizations take many forms, including economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, small business development centers, colleges, and universities as well as incubators and accelerators.

1000 Four Story

 

1000 Four is a simple, yet powerfully unique concept that we developed to challenge how our community typically pursued economic development and supported its burgeoning community of small business and entrepreneurs.

We grew weary of the frequent meetings led by entrenched government and business leaders. They would tout top-down, big-ticket and incentive-based recruiting strategies. The sentiment was probably best summarized at one such meeting when someone said: “…if we could just recruit four 1000-employee companies our region would be set.” The other leaders in the room shook their heads in knowing agreement.

 

And to be honest, we were guilty of this top-down mindset in some ways too. In the past, we had attempted to identify which companies in our community would succeed and focused our programs around them imitating famous start-up incubators.

 

And predictably, we weren’t able to do much better than anybody else. That is to say, we didn’t see the results we need. It is hard to pick out the winners from the crowd. Even the most successful accelerators see failure rates of 85 – 90%.

 

 

1000 Four helps all kinds of new and existing business grow.

Since we started 1000 Four, we’ve seen the economic impact of boosting countless small businesses spread throughout an entire community.  We’ve seen businesses created that leverage the strengths of our citizens and existing industries. We’ve seen existing companies find new paths to growth, implement innovative techniques, and learn from one another. We’ve seen new ventures with strong ties to our community, who are less likely to leave and more likely to give back when they ‘they make it.’

 

The 1000 Four Method

 

We were convinced there was a better way to lift up a community (instead of fishing for four huge companies to move in and save the local economy).

The answer was to build those ~4000 jobs from the ground up. Boosting 1000’s of small businesses to help them get to 4 employees (and beyond) was clearly a more resilient, more equitable, and more impactful plan for our community.

Imagine the ripple effects of 1000’s of business owners starting companies or expanding the ones they had. Locally grown jobs across hundreds of industries and in small innovative teams result in a local economy that is more nimble, more growth focused, and more diverse.  

And so that’s what we set out to do: create the conditions, tools and support structure necessary to help create and grow 1000 four-person businesses.

1000 Four helps entrepreneurs and small business owners, no matter where they are in their climb.

Why 1000 Four is so impactful:

  • Stopping the system of winners and losers: Encouraging investment in ALL the people who have an interest in small business and entrepreneurship. Not only are people notoriously bad at picking companies that will succeed, but investing in a diversified portfolio of companies is just common sense.

 

  • Serve more people: Make small business & entrepreneurship accessible to as many as possible. If more people are starting, then more people have the chance to make it big. Serving more people also allows for a larger community of entrepreneurs, and density is a key element.

 

  • Get out of the way: Create opportunities for people to connect (in person or online) but don’t try to manage those connections. The magic that’s possible from those interactions is why people will succeed and come back or log in. Frequent organic and spontaneous connections deliver the best results. When your community is dense, this happens easily.

 

  • Change or die: The tools and information you provide to people need to keep up with the way they want to use and consume it. The market is changing rapidly, so too should businesses. Stay current and change as necessary. Otherwise, you’ll be irrelevant.

 

It’s simple. More small businesses + entrepreneurs in your community = more chance of success.

We challenge the notion that investing in small business and entrepreneurship can’t deliver economic benefits better than traditional top down approaches.

We argue it doesn’t need to be that way. With the right conditions, training and support, your community can empower more people than ever to create their own opportunities.

1000 Four is a community. Not a classroom.

 

A thriving peer-to-peer support network

Real interactions with other entrepreneurs and small business owners on everything from getting started and staying motivated to hiring staff or selling your business.

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A place to ask questions

Get real-world answers to business problems via ‘ask Hatch’. Insight from people who have ‘been there and done that’ serve as the backbone for content and training on 1000 Four.

Online, on-demand education resources.

An innovative, easy to use platform that delivers cutting edge business content from sales & marketing, operations, legal and more. See more about the 1000 Four platform.

Traction oriented

Featuring ‘YBS-Your Business Snapshot’ – our proven approach that anyone can use to increase sales and gain more customers.

Unlimited Access. 24/7/365

No matter the time or place: a busy entrepreneur or small business owner can benefit from spending a few minutes in the 1000 Four online community.

Open to everyone

When you sign up your community for 1000 Four, anyone in your community will be able to participate. No previous experience necessary. Just a desire to get started.

Hear it from our small business owners and entrepreneurs

I was able to get honest criticism and feedback by being surrounding by entrepreneurs and business owners who can understand the struggles I was going through. I would never have been able to reach my goal without 1000 Four.

Nate Tschohl

Founder, swimnerd

If you’re wondering why you should join, I can give you the answer, it is about the network

Tracy Link

Founder, Integrity Security

After just one year with 1000 Four, our revenue has increased by 315% quarter over quarter. We’re hoping it’ll increase to 400% for the final quarter of this year.

Erik Olson

CEO, Array Digital

Is 1000 Four a good fit for your community?

 

If you’ve been struggling to jumpstart you entrepreneurship community, this is for you. If you’ve been looking for alternatives to traditional economic development models, this is for you. If you think there are people in your community who’s businesses need help more getting more traction, surviving and growing into their full potential.

We think your community is worth the investment. Do you?

1000 Four focuses on helping communities reach realistic goals using realistic time frames. But it’s a strategy that has  huge potential impact for the communities that adopt it.

  • Create 10% more new businesses
  • Help 10% more survive the early stage
  • Grow them by 10% more

Hear it from our champions

As the director of the Launchpad, creating quality content that our businesses can learn from was the most challenging and time-consuming aspect of my job. 1000Four is the perfect solution to my challenge.

Tim Ryan

Managing Director, Launchpad

The 1000 Four program [is] demonstrating our goal to provide information to help grow businesses and at the same time build trust within the business community.

Larry Lombardi

Economic Director, Currituck County Economic Development

As a business, it has anything you might need. If it’s 2 a.m. and you have a question while you are up late working on your business, you can access it right there, on-demand.

Bria Robinett

Director, Starting Block

We’ve turned the top-down development funnel upside down, creating an online, community-focused platform that encourages, motivates, trains and connects everyone who wants to pursue small business and entrepreneurship.

Our experience shows that this wide and deep approach to giving everybody a chance to succeed is critical to grow the local and regional economy.

So why wait any longer? It’s easy to connect your community to ours, made up of other business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

You can join other 1000 Four community partners including the City of Virginia Beach, Suffolk Economic Development, Launchpad: The Greater Williamsburg’s Incubator, Starting Block in Portsmouth, Franklin Business Center, and Lighthouse Labs in Richmond.

Bring 1000 Four to your community

Have questions?

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