WILMINGTON — A local business venture was picked to take part in a Cincinnati faith-based program for startups.
During a five-month term, the business development service named OCEAN Accelerator provides a blend of training, mentors, capital and working space to startups with potential.
The OCEAN company profile states, “OCEAN invests in capable people with good ideas, taking them through a faith and business journey to build character and attract investment.”
In this instance, the capable Wilmington resident with the good ideas is Darrell Petrey. His venture is called We Help Others, which OCEAN describes as “a fundraising platform that helps religious congregations and nonprofits generate revenue.”
“We want this to be a new style of fundraising,” said Petrey on the eve of his OCEAN business development experience which began Monday, Jan. 11. A twist in this form of fundraising is that the donors who contribute their used items of value will get cash back — in addition to the targeted nonprofit receiving money.
For example, instead of a church member donating an item to a church rummage sale, the item will be brought to We Help Others which, if necessary, can do quick fixes or refurbishing and then list it online. Petrey describes the process as “rescuing value” of a wide variety of items.
The donating church member gets a certain percentage of the subsequent sale and We Help Others receives a certain percentage. Both the church member and We Help Others are required to donate a certain percent back to the church.
Petrey has been selling cast-off items online for eight years and has turned it, he said, into a very profitable business in which he believes there’s plenty of opportunity.
He has other ideas to do good and make a living by engaging in the “market for used items of value.”
The long-term vision, Petrey said, is “a Walmart of quality used items.”
As of Monday, he is receiving the benefits of being an OCEAN participant, and will receive support, coaching and courage, according to the OCEAN Accelerator website.
OCEAN’s class of 2016 includes four businesses from Cincinnati, two from the United Kingdom, one from St. Louis, one from Dayton and this one from Wilmington.
According to an article in USA Today, the Crossroads Church in Cincinnati supports OCEAN. It’s one of the largest churches in the United States with 17,000 worshipers each weekend, according to the national newspaper.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.