On Partnerships and The Energize Community Program

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When our Energize Colorado team came together in February 2022 to design the pilot for our Energize Community Program (ECP), we had two north stars: 1) to be community first and 2) to be partner inclusive

To be community first, we focused on strengthening the connections between small business owners as well as their broader community. For each of the ECP areas, this meant that business owners would leave ECP with deep connections to one another and to the business support organizations who serve them within their local communities.

On November 14th, 100 community members including supporters from across the State came together to celebrate the small businesses who participated in the Energize Community Program.

Partner Inclusive

We knew that for ECP to be successful, we needed guidance and support from community partners. These are the organizations who have their boots on the ground every day and who have built trust with the small business owners in their communities. So, we hit the ground running, identifying community partners who would be interested in working with us to increase the resiliency of businesses and entrepreneurs within their area. 

Between April and August, we met with over 75 organizations (including technical assistance providers, community lenders, chambers, and State leaders) for a total of over 200 hours. These conversations fundamentally shaped how we designed ECP. After meeting with The Fax Partnership’s team in April, we understood what it would take to reach East Colfax entrepreneurs who are primarily immigrants — accessibility across six different languages, door-to-door outreach, and in-person visits on a weekly basis. We followed The Fax’s important guidance, translating materials across those languages, and The Fax’s team worked alongside us to call East Colfax business owners and supported them every step of the way to get their applications successfully submitted. 

Similarly, the Southern Colorado SBDC was critical in reaching and serving Pueblo businesses. Brian Estrada, Director of the SBDC, led two funding readiness workshops, provided one-on-one application support to Pueblo business owners, and made sure ECP was known to local elected officials and the public. 

The Community Accelerator, the final stage of ECP, was a learning and business advisory program with content prepared and delivered by Energize Colorado and a number of our community partners. Empowering Community Entrepreneurs, OutGrow Your Garage, and our spirited Energize Colorado volunteers delivered 1-hour workshops over a period of 10-weeks. 

Throughout ECP, we held three resource fairs, bringing together thirty partner organizations to meet with 150+ business owners, referred businesses to partner organizations who could lend support whether in the form of capital or technical assistance, and shared partner programs and resources with small businesses and the greater ecosystem.

Thank you to the following organizations who supported the Energize Community Program in some way – whether through supporting outreach, funding readiness education, leading a workshop, or providing critical guidance along the way. 

Thank you for supporting Colorado’s small businesses with us!

African Chamber of Commerce 

African Leadership Group 


Apex Business Consulting

Business Intelligence Center (BIC)

CEDS Finance 

Center for Community Wealth Building 

City of Englewood

City of Littleton

Colorado Trust

Colorado Office of Early Childhood Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce

Denver Metro Small Business Development Center

Early Childhood Leadership Alliance

Early Childhood Service Corps Empowering Community Entrepreneurs


Gates Family Foundation

Good Business Colorado

Huntington Bank 

Kaiser Permanente

Mi Casa Resource Center 

Mile High United Way

Minority Business Development Agency 

NAACP – Aurora

Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade 

Outgrow Your Garage

Pueblo Community College 

Pueblo West Chamber of Commerce 

TBK Bank

Telluray Foundation

The Greater Pueblo Chamber 

The Fax 



Small Business Majority 

Southern Colorado SBDC

Southern Colorado Innovation Link 

Southeast Colorado SBDC


United Airlines

University of Denver

US Bank 

U.S. Small Business Administration 

Village Exchange Center

Check out our new Resource Compass that allows small businesses to easily navigate funding, mentorship, and educational resources available across the State. Are you interested in having your organization included? Reach out to [email protected].

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