Walker Program strives to encourage minority business success in Lexington

So far, leaders said they have trained about 35 aspiring business owners

The program started in June 2021 and is helping to generate wealth and promote more minority business openings in the area.

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – A program in Lexington is helping generate wealth and promote more minority businesses opening in the area.

Leaders with the “Walker Program” said it started in June of last year.

The purpose of the program is to help people of color become entrepreneurs and so far, leaders said they have trained about 35 aspiring business owners.

“As one of our contributors said it’s amazing what a small group of people can accomplish when they put their minds together. We as a community wanted to make sure that we supported them and that we wanted them to be successful,” Lori Turner, a spokesperson said.

One graduate, Mallory Douglas, has been a hard worker and always had a special interest in cleaning.

“Strangely enough, it has become a passion of mine,” Mallory Douglas said.

Douglas’ passion for cleaning and having everything neat eventually led to her becoming a business owner.

“It’s really a pleasure because it is such a beautiful estate.”

Douglas doesn’t just clean the average home, she cleans luxury estates.

“A lot of luxury Airbnb, a luxury residential and commercial property.”

In fact, the home she cleans is about 3,600 square feet, and she cleans everything from the kitchen table to the fridge

Douglas has been operating for about a year and has landed many contracts, but she’s not the only success.

“It feels amazing, and I can’t wait to get going this week,” said Latonya Douglas, a caterer.

Latonya Douglas has always been passionate about cooking.

“I’ve always had a love for cooking, and my joy is serving other people [and] seeing how much fun I have cooking,” Douglas said.

While Latonya has skills in the kitchen, she and her cousin Mallory credit the Walker Program for helping them gain the skills to become successful business owners.

“I think it would have been difficult because we are getting that knowledge that entrepreneurs simply would not have,” Douglas said.

About the Author:

Duke Carter returned to 10 News in January 2022.