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Large Partnership Venture – “Mission Ignition” – Launches to Help Prince William County Residents Start Their Own Businesses

News Release


Monday, August 23, 2021

Contact: David Behrens

Brand Ambassador and Media Relations

Brickyard Cowork


Woodbridge, Va. – In a large five-party partnership, Brickyard Cowork, Prince William County Economic Development, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, the Mason Small Business Development Center, and George Mason University, will create a new, comprehensive small business development course built for residents to take their ideas and make them into functioning businesses.

 The course, named “Mission Ignition,” will be designed to take business owners who are just getting started with their business, or residents who aspire to start their own business, from building and designing an initial business planning framework to becoming profitable in a 10-week bootcamp open to all who live, work, or wish to work in Prince William County.

The course will be offered in-person to twenty-five individuals, with flexibility for an additional business partner of the individual to also attend. Mason Small Business Development Center (Mason SBDC) will be providing the backbone of the curriculum for the course along with comprehensive one-on-one counseling to help each business work through the challenges of building a functional business model. Mason SBDC in partnership with George Mason University will also be providing a number of their counselors and in-house experts to teach the classes, which will be held in the evenings on Wednesday night’s at 6:30 PM starting on September 15, 2021.

Timm Johnson, Director of Mason SBDC, says “For over 3 decades, the Mason Small Business Development Center (Mason SBDC) and George Mason University (GMU) have served as ubiquitous launchpads to many small businesses operating in the D.C Metropolitan area. Serving as a major source of mentorship to Northern Virginia’s small business community, the Mason SBDC assists businesses at all stages on a variety of subjects, at no cost!

The Mason SBDC is pleased to be a partner of ‘Mission Ignition’. The new program will be supported significantly by Mason SBDC’s Instructional team of Counseling and Subject Matter Experts to guide, instruct, and empower participants aiming to launch a business in Prince William County. The Center looks forward to supporting the economic goals and resurgence efforts by assisting small businesses with knowledge that will push forward their entrepreneurship goals, thereby becoming successful contributors to the regional economy.”

Prince William County Economic Development, in sponsoring Mason SBDC, is also thrilled about the event, and will be contributing to resources in the courses involving zoning, taxation, and permitting in the county, as they aim to streamline the process for residents wishing to center their businesses locally.

“We recognize the need to create a more inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem to meet the needs of Prince William County residents,” said Clarice Grove, Small Business Development Manager for Prince William Department of Economic Development.  “Mission Ignition is an exciting program that is strategically designed to help our small business owners make educated decisions that will set them up for success and allow them to flourish in our community.”

In order to round out the classes offered, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce offered to connect its membership to teach the course and has reached out to its community to provide teachers and resource material to help small business get on the right foot in areas like Human Resources and Brand Management. The Chamber will also be offering a close-out course to help attendees understand how to physically network with other companies throughout Prince William.

Debbie Jones, Prince William Chamber’s President & CEO, states “The Prince William Chamber is excited to be part of this new project and anxious to work with and help coach future local businesses.”

Brickyard, in seeing the need for such a curriculum in the county, is excited to be hosting the event at its coworking space in Woodbridge for the in-person attendees. To better reach everyone in the county, Brickyard will also be publishing the courses and the curriculum online for anyone who wants to start a business. Each class will be published a couple of days after each in-person session on the Mission Ignition website.

Ann Orem, Founder and CEO of Brickyard, had the following to say, “It is amazing and thrilling to see this partnership result in the creation of a resource that will personally counsel several small business owners in Prince William County. It is even more exhilarating to potentially help thousands more entertain their first steps in the adventure of entrepreneurship. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with all four of these spectacular groups to create Mission Ignition, and we cannot wait to see the class and online course unfold.”

If you are interested in learning more about Mission Ignition or wish to apply for the in-person program, visit missionignitionpw.org and fill out the application. Applications for the course will be due by September 3, 2021, and the course will start on September 15. Brickyard has also developed a virtual method for executing this course, should COVID-19 hinder the event. Anyone who is interested in still taking the online lessons from the course can sign up for a newsletter that will notify them of when new course material is published.



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