USA. Fraport USA has joined forces with Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall (BWI Marshall) Airport to introduce LaunchPad, a pilot programme that allows local entrepreneurs to jump start their small businesses at the airport.

The innovative programme was also created to identify and develop prospective Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) operators.

“LaunchPad is a natural outgrowth of our commitment to maximising local and minority business participation and success at the airport,” said Airmall Maryland (Fraport USA-owned) Vice President Brett Kelly.

“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:

  • Fashion Spa House: Owned and operated by Cynthia and Ketorus Gooding of Baltimore, this lifestyle company offers lash and brow services, as well as clothing, accessories and vegan skincare. It is targeted at “health-conscious travellers with a flair for glam”.

    Fashion Spa House targets “health-conscious travellers with a flair for glam”

  • Flawless Damsels Boutique: “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, accessories and shapewear.
  • New Secrets Tea: This business, run by Baltimore entrepreneur Newnew Norton, promotes holistic wellness and self-care through the healing power of organic gourmet herbal teas. They are blended with ingredients renowned for their positive effects on physical and mental wellbeing.

    Teatime tonic: Newnew Norton’s business promotes holistic wellness through the healing power of organic gourmet herbal teas

  • Roshé Cosmetics & B.E.A.T. School of Makeup Artistry: This outlet offers professional make-up and lash applications; male beard-grooming oils and balms; and professional colour cosmetics and botanical skincare products for services and purchase; all from a B.E.A.T. School-certified professional make-up artist.

“The LaunchPad programme has given my brand the ability to engage with my target audience on a broader and more consistent scale,” said Fashion Spa House owner Cynthia Gooding. “We are excited and grateful to be part of this exceptional opportunity.”

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As participants in the LaunchPad programme, 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 start-ups an authentic business experience and access to a unique, high performing retail programme,” said BWI Marshall Airport Ricky Smith Executive Director Ricky Smith.

“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.”

Note: Fraport USA (formerly AIRMALL USA) is the developer and manager of the retail, food and beverage operations at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Boston Logan International Airport (terminals B and E), Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport.

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