In April 2014, the pilot class began workshops with 12 individuals. From there, the team selected the first five entrepreneurs to launch their own small businesses. UnBoundRVA has now completed three classes and launched 12 small businesses. In addition, the group has a strong volunteer group,
While teaching in the inner city after college, UnBoundRVA co-founders Sarah Mullens and Richard Luck saw an incredible amount of talent going underutilized. They noticed that individuals weren’t pursuing the college track or other avenues for a number of reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with ability or work ethic. After their stint with Teach for America was over, Richard and Sarah set out on a mission to develop a process that would help encourage and create successful entrepreneurs, utilizing the untapped talents individuals already possessed. After months of researching, studying, and combining entrepreneurial programs and micro financing models from around the world, they developed UnBoundRVA.
In April 2014, the pilot class began workshops with 12 individuals. From there, the team selected the first five entrepreneurs to launch their own small businesses. UnBoundRVA has now completed two classes and launched eight small businesses. In addition, the group has a strong volunteer group, amazing community partners, and a staff of four full-time employees working towards the mission of UnBoundRVA.
Today, we are a non-profit focusing on empowering individuals from low-income backgrounds through the opportunity to own their own business and transform their lives. We’ve now grown and evolved to bring 20 hopeful entrepreneurs together for the goal of launching five new businesses each year.
Sarah is passionate about the work of UnBoundRVA and the entrepreneurs we support. Her experience most recently was a Senior Vice President at Village Bank for commercial banking and before that as the Director of the SBA’s Women Business Center and as a board member and team member at Virginia Community Capital. She led the work to establish it as a B corporation and learned powerful lessons at that CDFI about combining philanthropic, government, corporate and banking funds and best practices to solve problems in our communities. It is that philosophy that she brings to the work of UnBoundRVA. Sarah currently serves as a mentor for the City of Richmond’s Department of Minority Business Enterprise and as an appointee on the Virginia Building Authority Board. Sarah believes we must not rest until we create pathways to entrepreneurship to enable citizens to break through poverty and to thrive creating a positive impact on their families and their health and our communities. She knows UnBoundRVA plays a critical role in that work in our region.
Phone: (804) 519-1305
For Megan, the entire UnBoundRVA community serves as a source of daily inspiration. UnBound constantly challenges Megan to grow and to learn, but also to make a positive impact each and every day. The entrepreneurs have shown her what tenacity and determination can accomplish when combined with the power of a genuine support network. Megan’s background includes a degree in Leadership Studies and Business Administration from the University of Richmond. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she has grown to love Richmond just as much, as she likes to take advantage of all the activities the city has to offer, especially the craft brewery scene!
Fun fact: Megan learned to fly a plane in high school!
Phone: (804) 332-6892
Dawnyshia is driven by an insatiable passion for community development. A recent graduate from the University of St Andrews and the College of William and Mary’s Joint Degree Program, she holds a B.A. with International Honors in International Relations from both institutions. Her studies focused on economic development, community development, and human rights. She believes that entrepreneurship is a path to combat generational poverty by creating generational wealth. UnboundRVA’s participants infuse her with hope for RVA’s continued progress and feed her faith in the tenacity and beauty of the human spirit. As Recruitment Coordinator, Dawnyshia leads the process of finding the lifeblood of the organization: the participants. She enjoys the process of building relationships with the talented individuals with which RVA is endowed.
Fun fact: Dawnyshia is a certified English teacher to speakers of other languages!
Phone: (804) 647-1250
Marle has always been passionate about community development and seeing the city of Richmond thrive. She studied sociology and has spent time working with various non-profits with the mission of breaking down cultural and socioeconomic barriers. As the Operational Advisor, her time is spent measuring UnBoundRVA’s impact and helping facilitate programs. Marle is excited to have recently joined the team and be apart of wealth-building in Richmond.
Fun fact: Marle has auditioned for American Idol.
Phone: (804) 332- 6892
Tim is a relentless optimist who draws his inspiration from the participants who take the initiative to excel in the UnBoundRVA model. Joining the staff in 2015, he has had the unique perspective to see the organization grow from its roots into the sustainable model of economic development that it is today, working in numerous roles along the way. Currently serving as a Programs Consultant, Tim plays a holistic support role to the rest of the staff while working on higher level strategic initiatives to improve the foundation and delivery of UnBoundRVA’s programs. Tim graduated from the University of Richmond in 2015, where he double majored in Business Management and Leadership Studies. He views Richmond as a second home and the city that permanently shaped his desire to generate social impact through his work. His true home will always be the Washington, D.C. metro area where he proudly calls himself a native and a fan of the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals.
Fun Fact: Tim has worked as a deckhand on an expedition cruise liner, sailing from Alaska to San Diego.
Phone: (703) 626-8109