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, organizational assessments, industry coaching, program development and planning, sustainability, and opportunities sourcing. Our team of consultants specializes in four competencies:

  • Public and Private Collaborations
  • Supplier Inclusion
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
  • Executive Management Education

Public and Private Collaborations

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

  • Developing collaborative partnerships that maximize resources, talent, and expertise

  • Deploying community engagement strategies that target and/or deliver resources to underserved, marginalized communities

  • Incorporating growth-oriented business development models

We serve as a convener, planner and/or primary implementation partner in the 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 client-partners may include economic developers, corporate partners, chambers of commerce, trade associations, state agencies, local government, HBCUs, CDFIs, faith-based organizations and many more subject matter experts


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI)

We help corporations, public agencies, and organizational clients assess their programs to become community impactful. 

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.

Supplier Inclusion

Whether our client is a public agency or private corporation or institution, we can help develop and manage achievable yet high-impact objectives and outcomes for supplier inclusion programs. We offer a tested model for sourcing diverse businesses, coaching emerging suppliers and adopting sustainable best practices, heightening the growth experience for both new and established supplier diversity programs. 

Our goal always is to raise MWBE utilization rates and help shape a win-win ecosystem for our clients, MWBEs and whole communities. We leverage technology to build pipelines of diverse suppliers, track and analyze impact, manage client costs, and assist in scaling the supplier inclusion journey in real time.

Executive Management Education

Institute faculty recognizes the critical needs that support minority executives in developing resilience strategies and agile technologies, while defining and pursuing market share.


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

Executive Minority Planning in Real Estate (EMPIRE)

This program is designed to equip candidates with the tools necessary to share in the wealth building that commercial real estate development creates.  EMPIRE is designed for real estate practitioners, non-profit and community leaders, public sector decision makers and entrepreneurs who want to obtain a practical understanding of the real estate development process.

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Center for Professional Services

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

Phone: (919) 956-8889