Helping People Overcome Barriers and Become Business Owners

RVA Works Enterprise Support, Inc is a tax exempt organization

Small business owner feeling lost

Our Mission:

  • Eliminating barriers to business ownership
  • Providing educational and financial services…
  • Assisting those in most need...

Leading Programs

Who it's for: Entrepreneurs at all stages of their careers
What we provide: Our sponsorship of 1 Million Cups, ensures a unique forum for building connections with peer entrepreneurs. This weekly meetup includes free coffee, an entrepreneur speaker, and discussion related to a challenge they're facing. Through the discussion all participants benefit from peer learning, identifying insights, applying those insights to their own business, and exchanging valuable referrals.

Who it's for: Entrepreneurs at all stages of their careers
What we provide: Introduced at the request of Capital One, we provide a one-on-one "deep dive" into entrepreneur's credit report and budget, and provide recommendations for lower cost products. Plus, through larger roundtable discussions, we cover managing free cash flow, preparation for a loan underwriter, and reducing interest rates.

Who it's for: People thinking about starting a new business.
What we provide: A 12 week educational experience, with a cohort of peer founders. First, decide if an entrepreneurial lifestyle is a good fit for you. Second, clarify the idea, and validate whether customers will purchase what you will sell. Third, develop the organization, so you can start making sales. After you finish, you'll benefit from alumni-only events, pro bono professional services, and assistance promoting your new business.

Who it's for: Alumni of the accelerator program
What we provide: A monthly pro bono meeting of RVA Works Accelerator alumni. Join a supportive community of peers. Discussion focuses on continuous improvement of your business, a roundtable format for each person to share their current business challenges, and an opportunity for the group to express helpful experiences overcoming the particular difficulty.

Coming soon

Who it's for: Small Business Owners Making Sales
What we provide: We're developing a new loan fund for qualifying small business borrowers. These unsecured term loans are designed to provide working capital, which helps small businesses grow. Borrowers typically meet underwriting requirements within several months of opening their business, and they rely on other aspects of the RVA Works support system.

Who it's for: Small Business Owners Making Sales
What we provide: We're developing new software to allow small business owners to exchange insights, connections, and to qualify for a loan. For more information on this product, and to sign up for email updates on product releases, please see

Kauffman Foundation

Thank You Kauffman Foundation:

The Board of Directors of RVA Works would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for consistent collaboration. Starting in 2014, RVA Works and the Richmond community of entrepreneurs have benefited from the Kauffman Foundation's leadership in advancing the 1 Million Cups® peer learning program, the Fasttrac® curricula for entrepreneurs, and collaboration in community-engaged research with Virginia Commonwealth University. We truly value the Kauffman Foundation's advances in research, advocacy, and programs that assist in expanding access to entrepreneurial opportunities.

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Learn more about our holistic approach to helping people become business owners…
Empowerment through Asset Accumulation

Our Impact

  • 124

    Founders have entered the accelerator

  • 2/3

    of graduates start their businesss

  • 38%

    The average annual income increase for graduates who launched their business

  • 97%

    women-owned or ethnic minority-owned

  • 333

    Free, public meetups for business owners

  • 104

    Startup founders in our accelerator

Real Results in Building Businesses That Matter Most:

Small business owners need resources

The resources they need

Many small businesses search for the resources they need for years before finding some of them… not anymore.

Small business owners need a community

A community around them

The most successful entrepreneurs have a strong community around them. We give them the place to build their dream.

Small business owners are leaders

Demonstrated results

No more questioning yourself. No more justifying your efforts. Build your confidence and create the business you dream of.

Curious to learn who is doing all of this great work?

It's a team effort...

Our Governance

Our strategy, policies, budget and programs are mission-aligned…
So we optimize our impact.

Board of Directors & Officers

Chief Executive Officer

Advisory Council

Volunteer Staff

Our Governance

Our strategy, policies, budget and programs are mission-aligned…
So we optimize our impact.

Board of Directors
& Officers

David Barrett, Board Chair

Board experience, Chairman Emeritus, or Trustee at the Virginia Council of CEOs, Better Business Bureau, Fork Union Military Academy.

Rick Wildes, Treasurer

Financial & Special Projects, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, VMFA Foundation, and Independent CPA.

Charletta Darville, Secretary

Board Secretary, RVA Works Alumna, and Founder of Community Aid, LLC.

Charolette Davis, Alumni Committee Officer

Board Member, Chair of the Alumni Committee, and Founder of Lyfestyle Mobile, LLC.

Chief Executive Officer

Dale Fickett, CEO

Board President (voting officer), RVA Works CEO, and Instructor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Richmond.


John Marin

Co-Founder of Laborem Edge, a digital marketing agency and proprietary marketing software. Marketing and software advisor.

Gopa Nair

Innovation Adoption lead with the Center of Excellence at U.S. GSA. Shares expertise via entrepreneurial training through RVAWorks.

Sid Tanu

Small Business Loan Underwriter, Startup Mentor, TechStars accelerator Graduate, and RVA Works Advisor on Credit Counseling and Loan Fund Formation.

Swati Sachan

Professor of Finance & Accounting, Lecturer in Financial Technology, with a research interest in explainable AI and machine learning models. AI advisor.

Daniel Lantz

Software Engineering Manager with Trovata, and technology mentor for the development team at RVA Works.

Michael Kahwajy-Hyland

Owner and Designer at Turning Point Pen Company, Founder of the Turning Point Resilience Campaign. Audience Building & Consumer Product Advisor.

Volunteer Staff

Oheneba Berko

Scholar at the University of Richmond. User Experience Designer & Webmaster.

Alex Anderson

Holds responsibility for software & front-end web development.

Darcy Le

Holds responsibility for leading marketing efforts, including metrics, awarness building, community development and conversion.

Ian Young

Holds responsibility for coordinating 1 Million Cups events, in-room technology, and hospitality.

Angelina Makretsova

Scholar at the University of Richmond. Digital Marketing Intern.

Daryus Maschino

Holds responsibility for software development & software project management.

Sofia Mikadze

Scholar at the University of Richmond. Digital Marketing Intern.

Simi Jung

Virtual Assistant & Social Media Manager. 1 Million Cups Community Organizer.

Learn More:

Getting information

1. Strategic Plan

Learn about our work to cultivate small business growth most beneficial to society.


2. Impact Report

Dive into the peer reviewed research, and quantitative analyses we’ve used to demonstrate the difference our business owners are making.


3. Operating Budget

Review our funding sources, our allocations to direct program services, and the financial strength of our organization.

Want to Help?

Donate to RVA Works
Support RVA Works Volunteer at RVA Works

Want to Help?

As Featured In

Featured on Wall Street Journal, Richmond Times-Dispatch, ESPN Radio, and CBS News

Backed By

Backed by Capital One, Kauffman Foundation, Maxx Potential, and others

Open Trellis

Where Small Businesses Go To Grow