The state of Ohio partners with nonprofit organizations for the new corporate immigrant program

Elevate Northland director speaks with New American Entrepreneurship Project participants on November 12, 2022.

The lobby of Columbus’s Elevate Northland Center was packed with about 30 people waiting their turn.

“Remember this was your idea, okay?” Judith Cockrell, director of Elevate Northland, told attendees. “Believe in your idea. You’re sharing it with someone else. They want to know the genius you’re sharing with them.”

Zamda Lumbi also offered some advice to his fellow attendees as they waited on a recent Saturday morning.

“When you walk in there, the judges are there to listen to you,” she said. “Don’t wait nervous. They’re not going to score you.”

The group, which included a mix of men and women in their 20s and 50s, were all waiting to pitch their business proposals to a panel of judges who were there to provide feedback. The presentations were part of the final class for a new entrepreneurship program created especially for new Americans.

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