Center for Professional Services

Creating Opportunities for Underserved Individuals and Communities

About Us

At the Institute, we focus on moving minority entrepreneurs and businesses forward, leveraging tools and relationships across our organization. As the Institute’s consulting arm, the Center for Professional Services helps public agencies, community organizations, and the corporate sector play more effective roles in support of equitable economic ecosystems.

We can assist with market analysis, business assessments, business coaching, program development and planning, and opportunities sourcing. Our team of consultants specializes in four competencies:

  • Public and Private Partnerships
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
  • Executive Training for emerging minority firms
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Public and Private Collaborations

We serve as a trusted community hub, addressing economic disparities by:

  • Emphasizing collaborative partnerships that maximize resources, talent, and expertise
  • Bringing technology platforms to survey market trends, drivers, and environmental factors
  • Incorporating growth-oriented business development models
  • Deploying community engagement strategies that target and/or deliver resources to underserved, marginalized communities

We partner with local or regional professional consultants in areas of contracting, brand recognition and marketing, access to capital, human capital, workforce development, and technology.

Our technical assistance includes academic trainings, hands-on experiences, industry coaching and business mentoring.  Our project partners may include economic developers such as NuLevel 360, business chamber members, faith-based organizations, contractors associations, state business development agencies, minority serving institutions, research experts such as NC REG and many more subject matter experts. And what differentiates us from other economic developers is our CDFI, ICAP.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI)

We offer an experienced approach to diversity, equity and inclusion that includes management and policy assessments; board, executive, and staff training; and other organizational development activities based on our clients’ needs and goals. We help our clients identify their challenges and to understand and adopt policies and practices to create more equitable and inclusive workplaces, institutions, and ultimately, communities.

We believe in supporting our community through education, cultural competency, socially inclusive entrepreneurship, LGBTQ education, youth initiatives, workforce development and other emerging, forward-moving strategies to address diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges. Our consulting partners include but are not limited to Equity Rising, William May, LLC, and NC REG.

Supply Chain Management

The Institute has long engaged in assisting corporations, municipalities, non-profits, and policy makers in best practices for supply chain management. With a tested model of sourcing diverse businesses, coaching fledging firms, and adopting sustainable best practices, we not only raise MBE utilization rates, but we help build wealth and sustainability for MBEs and their owners. 

You can count on our partner Diversity Information Resources (DIR) to provide recommendations that are backed by factual statistical data and performance scorecards. Institute partners build pipelines of diverse suppliers for your agency and community maintained in real time through the robust platform Supplier Gateway.

Executive Management Education

In today’s economy, businesses and service providers must continuously pivot to meet the demands of safety, disaster readiness, and market supply. The Institute recognizes the critical need to support minority executives in developing strategies that solve problems, adopting technologies and defining market shares.

We collaborate with community stakeholders, educators, business thought leaders, researchers, industry best in class and successful MBE investors to customize executive training programs, including but not limited to the following:

Minority Executive Education Institute

The Minority Executive Education Institute (MEEI®) delivers comprehensive and robust graduate-level business education designed to help minority business executives strengthen and grow their companies.  Program features include:

  • Extensive course content based on proven best practices and research
  • Leading business experts from university and corporate partners
  • Access to new business resources through networking and strategic partnerships

MEEI® programming utilizes the talents of graduate-level professors from universities across North Carolina and leading business experts, creating a powerful learning experience that gives minority and women business owners concrete knowledge that can be used to grow revenue, enter new markets, or launch new product ideas.

Nonprofit Executive Education Program

This program aims to strengthen leadership capacities of non-profit organizations, including:

  • Driving change through Strategic Leadership
  • Nonprofit financial management
  • Capturing organizational Impact
  • Fundraising and marketing in a down economy

Contact Us

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Center for Professional Services

Mailing Address:
114 W. Parrish Street
Durham, NC 27701

Phone: (919) 956-8889