Does REI offer any mentoring/grants for new businesses?
I've just started a new business guiding nature hikes in Virginia.
The goals of our program are to:
Educate participants in natural history, horticulture, mycology, geology, ecology, safety, and environmental stewardship.
Reach out to urban residents that may have anxiety about exploring natural areas (especially those that are underrepresented like Latinos, African Americans, and LGBTQ) due to a lack of experience, a previous bad experience, or any other reason to avoid the outdoors.
Help them develop a love for nature while the participants intimately experience and learn about the web of life that nature is.
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This sounds like a really incredible program you have! Thank you for working towards getting more people outdoors. While we don't have a program built to support your business, we will pass the idea along to our teams who work in that space. We'll see if they have any ideas of resources for you. We will circle back with you here in the community if we get some suggestions for you. Another idea would be to start with the Outdoor Programs and Outreach specialist at your local REI store, who may be able to connect you with local non-profits or other businesses who work in your field and region.
Hopefully this helps, thanks!
At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.