BincTank Eligibility Guidelines

Career Center, Community, Industry,

The application for the first cohort of BincTank, the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s bookstore business incubator program, will open Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, and run through Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. The application and eligibility guidelines will be available at https://www.bincfoundation.org/binctank/.
 
BincTank will support new BIPOC-owned retail bookselling businesses that are physically located in their community. Bookmobiles, pop-up stores and bricks and mortar storefronts are eligible and stores that qualify are not yet open or have been open no more than six months from the time of application. Businesses interested in moving from one model to another, like a pop-up moving to a bricks and mortar location, are also eligible. Online only stores are not eligible.
 
“BincTank supports entrepreneurs who are BIPOC identified,” said Ken White, BincTank program manager. “The ideal candidate is one who intends to open their store in a community of color that is not already being served by a bookstore. They will also be mission driven and feel compelled to open a bookstore as a way of solving some problem or inequity in their community. We encourage all BIPOC entrepreneurs interested in opening a bookstore in their community to apply.”
 
Participants will be enrolled in weekly Professional Bookselling School classes March 11 through May 20; the core curriculum will take three to five hours per week. In addition to a rigorous education curriculum, the first cohort will be expected to attend an in-person orientation in early March and to participate in a mentorship program, webinars, guest speakers and panels after the PBS classes end. A resource library of materials will also be available.
 
The Professional Bookseller School provides independent booksellers with an education, training and accreditation process that will elevate the trade of independent bookselling to a standard approaching that of professionals in similar industries related to education and public literary engagement.
Applicants should have a mission statement for their business, be able to describe their business and intended customers, and identify partners or organizations that will support their intentions, like a local chamber of commerce.

BincTank will initially support bookstores and book retail outlets operated by historically underrepresented entrepreneurs in communities impacted by systemic racism. A three-year pilot program, BincTank plans to evaluate results and then determine how to proceed.

Binc continues to seek funding for this BIPOC entrepreneur focused program. For more information contact Pam French or Kathy Bartson.