Truist gift to support businesses through Accelerate South Jersey

Truist gift to support businesses through Accelerate South Jersey

With a focus on empowering aspiring entrepreneurs, a $43,000 gift from Truist promises to spur growth and innovation within southern New Jersey's business landscape.

The gift will impact dozens of community members, including:
  • a West Philadelphia native who dreams of owning a mobile food truck;
  • a self-promoted, “Candle Lady” who wants to expand her small business;
  • the owner of an Islamic boutique seeking to secure a high-traffic location like the Cherry Hill Mall;
  • a former FedEx driver who wants to open a Camden restaurant to support her family while she serves the community.
The gift will support Accelerate South Jersey, a Rohrer College of Business (RCB) initiative led by Professor of Entrepreneurship Mike Dominik to empower small businesspeople.

“My family had a dry-cleaning business in Camden, and we lived above the store for the first couple years of my life,” said Dominik. “My parents put the sign up in 1962 and, though it’s since closed, the sign stands there today. As a professor and mentor, it’s a privilege to give back and work with people from my community.”

Begun in 2022, Accelerate South Jersey supports new businesses with guidance needed to reach key business milestones.

Said Dan Cuneo, Truist’s market president of Commercial Banking for Southern New Jersey, “we have two pillars for our foundation: strengthening small businesses and building career pathways to economic mobility. This program aligns seamlessly with our overarching mission, and is exactly what we’re looking for when we look to help our communities through our foundation.”

“With Truist’s funding, we can identify target audiences, marketing needs, and how their services will mature,” Dominik said.

For many new business owners, securing funding for start-up elements can be the key factor for success, and that’s where Truist’s investment will make a difference, Dominik said.

“It’s hard for someone living day-to-day and paying the bills to think about the big picture (for starting a business), let alone focus on marketing plans and product differentiation,” Dominik said. “Being able to offer hard-working businesspeople a $1,000 grant and valuable wrap-around services through Accelerate South Jersey will go a long way toward building their business.”