The Retail Alliance Foundation focused on sustainability this year. Two years ago, we launched our flagship program, the Center for Retail Operations (CRE), which required significant investment by Retail Alliance.

As demand grew to establish Certificate in Retail Operations (CROps) cohorts throughout Hampton Roads, we laid the groundwork to diversify our funding streams. The Retail Alliance contribution is now matched by private and corporate funders, positioning us to increase student enrollment.

By 2022, we anticipate earned income (tuition) will sustain the majority of our programmatic costs. A big thanks to the Patricia and Douglas Perry Foundation, SunTrust Foundation, Causality, TowneBank, local Walmart stores and our locality partners for their support this year!

We have hired a new Director of Education for the Foundation, Michelle Ellis Young, who is committed to attaching CROps to existing entrepreneurial resource partners and localities throughout Hampton Roads.

She is also working hard to recruit CROps Facilitators and Subject Matter Expert (SME) faculty in the seven areas that cover what we call the Seven Principles of Retail Excellence: startup, retail accounting, security/loss prevention, merchandising, marketing, HR management and business planning.

Additionally, she is scouting for financial leaders to volunteer as “sharks” for CROps Minnow Buckets, where participants pitch their newly created business plan before a panel of judges.

To learn more or to apply please click here.