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The Seventh Annual Tom Tom Founders Festival is a week-long celebration of innovators, visionaries, and artists who are shaping small cities. The Festival occurs at dozens of venues throughout downtown Charlottesville. 

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Community Investment Collaborative

The Community Investment Collaborative initially grew from the personal experience of Toan Nguyen, owner of C’ville Coffee during the recession. After numerous conversations, a workgroup of 48 people with nonprofit, business and education backgrounds came together to better understand the financing difficulties faced by micro-enterprises in our region. It became clear that small businesses lacked access to appropriate financial solutions and a comprehensive support system necessary for business success.

After a study of existing microenterprise models throughout the country, numerous conversations with regional micro-lending organizations, local lenders, and local service providers, CIC identified the elements essential for microenterprise success in our local community. CIC would not only offer financing but also education, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

Each component helps to cultivate a local business network that connects aspiring entrepreneurs with existing entrepreneurs, city officials with nonprofit service providers, and state agents with local businesspeople, bringing together the impressive experience and expertise found in our community.

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