Fraport USA has joined forces with Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall (BWI Marshall) Airport to introduce LaunchPad, a pilot program designed to create opportunities for local entrepreneurs to jump start their small business in the retail program at BWI Marshall Airport. The innovative program was also created to identify and develop prospective Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) operators.
“LaunchPad is a natural outgrowth of our commitment to maximizing local and minority business participation and success at the airport,” said Brett Kelly, vice president of Airmall Maryland. “We continue to lead the industry with a high participation of ACDBE operators at the airport. LaunchPad, which supports local entrepreneurs and small business owners from targeted communities, offers extensive training and resources. Essentially, we are incubating the next generation of ACDBE operators.”
Four inaugural LaunchPad businesses are now operating at BWI Marshall Airport:
- This lifestyle company offers lash and brow services, as well as clothing, accessories and award-winning vegan skincare. Health-conscious travelers with a flair for glam can get their fix at Fashion Spa House, owned and operated by Cynthia and Ketorus Gooding of Baltimore.
- Flawless Damsels Boutique is an inclusive boutique for all women. Taylor Shea started her business to meet the fashion needs of women of all ages, sizes, ethnicities and cultures. The boutique sells stylish apparel, unique accessories and shapewear designed to make all women feel flawless in the skin they are in.
- New Secrets Tea, by Baltimore’s Newnew Norton, promotes holistic wellness and self-care through the healing power of organic gourmet herbal teas, blended with ingredients renowned for their positive effects on physical and mental wellbeing.
- Roshé Cosmetics & B.E.A.T. School of Makeup Artistry offers professional makeup and lash applications, male beard grooming oils and balms, professional color cosmetics and botanical skincare products for services and purchase, all from a B.E.A.T. School certified professional makeup artist.
“The LaunchPad program has given my brand the ability to engage with my target audience on a broader and more consistent scale,” said Cynthia Gooding, owner of Fashion Spa House. “We are excited and grateful to be part of this exceptional opportunity.”
As participants in the LaunchPad program, the nascent operators received custom retail merchandising units, along with additional training, sales and marketing support to start up their small businesses at the airport.
“LaunchPad was developed to give local startups an authentic business experience and access to a unique, high performing retail program,” adds Ricky Smith, executive director of BWI Marshall Airport. “Our customers appreciate LaunchPad because they can support local businesses and experience the best of Baltimore and Washington. The small business owners have an opportunity to expose their brand to millions of visitors in the airport.”