Ayshia Green-Calloway joined the New Venture Accelerator (NVA) in February of 2022 as program manager for the $1.3M grant from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) as part of their Build to Scale Program.

Ayshia, thank you for your willingness to chat with CONVERGE. Recently, Auburn received a substantial grant through the EDA's Build to Scale initiative to support new and growing businesses. In a few words, could you tell us about the program(s) supported by this grant, as well as who can participate?

Through this grant, we can expand the current NVA offerings to the Lee County community. These services include mentoring/coaching, educational workshops and material, and office space in our facility. One addition that will be particularly beneficial is the transference of some of our educational workshops to a virtual platform. Currently, in-person workshops are the only medium offered at the NVA.

How long will the funding be available? Do you have specific goals in mind for the life of the program as it begins to mature?

Our award period runs through October 2024. One primary goal is to successfully transfer our content to a virtual format. Additionally, I would like to see the NVA become a staple for cost-free business education and resources in the community.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. What led you to working with the New Venture Accelerator and specifically with this program?

For the last eight years, I have worked in career services. My first experience in a career center was at the Goodwill Career Center in Opelika, where I worked for four years before transitioning to Auburn University's Central Career Center. Before working in Career Services, I spent two years as a Case Aide at the Lee County Department of Human Resources. One thing I enjoyed doing in my past work experiences at Goodwill and the Lee County Department of Human Resources is working with local community members. I had several reasons for applying for the Program Manager position. However, the most attractive element was the opportunity to return to a community engagement role. I love collaborating with the amazing organizations in our community to provide entrepreneurial resources and make them accessible to all citizens of Lee County.

What do you enjoy most about working with the emerging businesses and start-ups that are connecting with and participating in the programming you offer? 

What I enjoy most about working with emerging businesses and start-ups is being a part of their stories and having a front-row seat to witness their successes, tenacity, dedication, faith, endurance, and determination to make their dreams a reality.

When you are not at work, how do you enjoy spending your time?


When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family. 

"I would like to see the NVA become a staple for cost-free business education and resources in the community..."