Press & Publications

Press Release: The Institute and the Initiative Announce Plans to Merge

       

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         

Contact:         Kevin J. Price
Phone:           919-956-8889
Email:            info@theinstitutenc.org  


THE INSTITUTE AND THE INITIATIVE ANNOUNCE PLANS TO MERGE

[Durham, NC, June 1]  The Boards of Directors of the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development (the “Institute”) and the North Carolina Community Development Initiative, Inc. (the “Initiative”) announced their plans to merge the two organizations early this summer.  “We are extremely excited about this opportunity to combine the strengths of these two incredible institutions to create an even more powerful force for economic opportunity and inclusion for diverse communities in North Carolina and the region,” said Lewis H. Myers, Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Directors.

The merged organization, which will continue to be known as the Institute, will have offices in Durham, Raleigh, and Charlotte.  It will be governed by a Board of Directors with representation from the legacy Boards of both the Institute and the Initiative.  Following the merger, the Institute and its lending arm, Initiative Capital, will pursue a comprehensive strategy for building and protecting wealth in low to moderate income and communities of color.  Together, they will: support diverse business development, affordable housing, community development,   and entrepreneurship; nurture strong institutions led by, and serving people of color, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities; and invest in youth and the future leaders of this work. They will do this through a coordinated program of work that includes research and policy advocacy, capital investment, thought leadership, and education, training and leadership development.

“For well over twenty-five years, the Initiative and the Institute have worked closely to transform the communities in our state that have historically been excluded from access to resources and opportunities,” said James Speed, Chairman of the Initiative’s Board of Directors.  “The disparate impact of the public health and economic crises caused by the pandemic shows again how critical this work is and we realized that bold action was needed to create the kind of institution that our stakeholders need at this critical time and into the future.”

Founded in 1986 by Andrea Harris, a visionary and gifted leader who passed away on May 20, 2020, the Institute is a statewide nonprofit organization, based in Durham, North Carolina.  Its mission is to strengthen the asset base of diverse populations through policy, education and the expansion of economic opportunity.  The Institute is distinguished by its deep capacity in research and policy development, as well as for its high-quality technical assistance for entrepreneurs.  Among its many achievements, the Institute has enabled North Carolina businesses owned by women and people of color to obtain more than $1 billion in contracts in fields from construction to information technology.

The Initiative is a statewide nonprofit organization, based in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It was founded in 1993 by Abdul Sm Rasheed, a nationally recognized leader of the community economic development movement.  Together with its affiliated community development financial institution, the North Carolina Community Development Initiative Capital, Inc. (“Initiative Capital”), it works with a network of community-based development organizations across the state to strengthen traditionally excluded communities and to increase economic opportunities for all North Carolinians.  In just the past five years, the Initiative and Initiative Capital have invested $35 million in critical affordable housing and community development projects.  These investments have leveraged more than $100 million in additional public and private capital investment and resulted in the development, rehabilitation and preservation of over 4,000 units of affordable housing in North Carolina.

“We need strong institutions in the state and across the South, led by people of color to make sure that all communities have access to capital and the other resources that are required for real economic opportunity,” said Martin Eakes, CEO of the Center for Community Self-Help and a member of the Institute’s Board of Directors.  “I have been involved with both the Institute and the Initiative from their inception and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this next chapter in their work.”  In furtherance of this commitment, Self-Help has agreed to support this merger by serving as Management Agent for Initiative Capital for the next six to twelve months.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to lead this new organization at a time when our collective work is more needed than ever,” said Kevin J. Price, the Institute’s President and CEO.  “This merger gives us all the tools, expertise and resources that we need to be the difference maker for our communities.  We are building on an incredible legacy of sacrifice and achievement by those who came before us, including, most importantly, Ms. Harris and Mr. Rasheed, and our commitment is to fully realize their vision for a more fair, just and inclusive economy that works for all of us.”

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For more information, please contact:  Kevin J. Price, President and CEO, The North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development, kprice@theinstitutenc.org, (919) 956-8889.

Press Release: The Institute Announces Launch of Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         

Contact:         Kevin J. Price
Phone:           919-956-8889
Email:            info@theinstitutenc.org  


THE INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF
SMALL DIVERSE BUSINESS EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

[Durham, NC, April 20]  The North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development (The Institute), in partnership with the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina, announces the launch of the Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund.

During this time of uncertainty, The Institute, the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina, the Women’s Business Center of Charlotte, and the South Atlantic Small Business Transportation Resource Center are partnering on the establishment of the Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund. With the state and local shelter-in-place ordinances for citizens, many small businesses and entrepreneurs are experiencing significant economic impact.  The relief fund will provide grants for up to $1,000 for rent, utilities, and other operational expenses of small businesses that have been impacted by a decline in business due to COVID-19.  These funds are not expected to be repaid.  Businesses applying for grant funds must operate in North Carolina, be a small minority owned business, and must demonstrate the immediate needs for resources.  Funds will be administered through the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina.

“This fund is different than many that we’ve seen so far,” says Kevin J. Price, President and CEO of The Institute.  “We are focusing on micro-grants, trying to help small diverse businesses stay open and operational.  We’ve heard stories of business owners only needing $500 to pay a web designer or $250 to keep the lights on.  This is where our relief fund can make the difference between businesses closing their doors or remaining open.”

The Institute has launched a giving site at www.theinstitutenc.org/marketplace to allow community members to give to the Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund.  This site is part of The Institute’s “Buy Small. Buy Local.” campaign.  The website features two key elements:  a Buyers & Sellers Connection portal and a giving portal.  The Buyers & Sellers Connect portal allows North Carolina small businesses to list their products and services for sellers to search.  Minority business owners can register in the connection portal to list their products and services for free.  Likewise, sellers can find the products and services they need in their region for free.  The giving portal directly supports the Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund.  Individuals and corporations can give through this portal.

“Now more than ever, buying small, local, and diverse is critical,” says Price.  “The Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund is an extension of this support.  Corporate partners have begun joining us in building this fund.  Giving to the Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund will help ensure North Carolina’s small diverse businesses are able to weather the storm of COVID-19.”

Donations to the fund are being accepted now.  Business owners interested in applying to the fund should visit www.theinstitutenc.org/marketplace for application information.

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The Institute, headquartered in Durham, N.C., is a nonprofit management consulting and services organization focused on business diversity. It helps small businesses develop and grow, large corporations diversify their supply chains, and local and state governments expand their business base. For more information, contact the Institute at info@theinstitutenc.org.

The Women’s Business Center of North Carolina’s (WBCNC) mission is to enable and empower women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs through advocacy, training, education and support.  The WBCNC achieves this by providing one-on-one confidential counselling, business certification review and assistance, educational webinars and seminars, business loan packaging, mentorship, and networking. The WBCNC’s outreach spans over a 52 county region from the Triad Region to the coastline. 

The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte’s mission is simple but impactful: to promote economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship for women in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area and surrounding areas.  Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCC, entrepreneurs, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged, are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of topics to help them start and grow their own businesses.  WBCC has direct oversight of 12 Counties within the Charlotte Statistical.

The Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC) provides small businesses with the tools, resources, expertise and technical assistance required to bid, win and successfully perform on federal and state transportations contracts.   The program focuses on businesses working across all modes of transportation: rail, highway, maritime, airports and mass transit systems.  The SBTRC serves all of North Carolina.

Press Release: The Institute Welcomes Kevin Price, New President & CEO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

Contact:  Lew Myers                                 
Phone:    919-956-1899
Email:      info@theinstitutenc.org 

THE INSTITUTE WELCOMES KEVIN PRICE, NEW PRESIDENT & CEO

[Durham, NC, February 17]  Lewis H. Myers, Chair of the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development, announced that they have hired Kevin J. Price to be only the third President & CEO in the 34-year history of the Institute. Myers, who is also serving as the Interim President & CEO stated that, “we were pleased that Kevin agreed to assume the leadership. He is uniquely qualified to assume the helm at this pivotal stage in the Institute’s evolution. He has the passion necessary to push us to continue the work for which we were created. He has experience, having begun his career in community economic development with Project Homestead in Greensboro. He went on to work for several banks leading community development and commercial banking, with a focus on providing services and resources to help grow diverse businesses and create jobs. He came to us having served for the past 14 years as Senior Director, Supplier Diversity & Performance Analytics for Novant Health, Inc. You can understand our excitement with bringing Kevin on board.”

Kevin is a native of Greensboro.  After high school, he served in the US Army.  After completing military service, Price obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science/Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Upon graduation, he worked in senior leadership positions with Project Homestead in Greensboro where they were a leader in building affordable housing and commercial spaces totaling $42 million. He then spent 3 years with SouthTrust Bank as a Group Vice President/Community Development Manager leading the bank’s compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act.

He then moved to Regency Development, a subsidiary of SunTrust Bank, as Vice President of Faith-Based Initiatives leading their work with faith-based organizations between Maryland and Florida developing affordable multi-family housing. He later launched his own consulting firm providing community economic development guidance, training and support to HBCU’s, banks, faith-based organizations and government agencies. The company specialized in developing affordable multi-family projects using complexed financing, such as Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Tax-Exempt Bonds. Price then served with M&F Bank as Vice President/Senior Business Development Officer where he led regional business development activities generating new retail, deposits and commercial lending relationships.

After spending several years consulting and leading community development and commercial banking, Price joined Novant Health in 2006 to launch and lead supplier diversity.  In that role, he was responsible for diversifying the company’s procurement spend.  Working collaboratively with executives and department leaders, Price identified minority, women, veteran and LGBT owned suppliers, ensuring that they were given an opportunity to compete for Novant Health’s business.  As a result, Novant Health increased its diverse supplier spend by more than 500% utilizing over 550 diverse suppliers.  Since he began supplier diversity in 2006, the company has spent over $1 billion with diverse businesses.  Additional notable accomplishments include collaborating with the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth Minority Executive training program to include a healthcare component for six consecutive years and launching a $5 million loan guarantee program for diverse suppliers of Novant Health, in partnership with M&F Bank.  In partnership with Diversity, Inclusion & Equity, Price also served as a master diversity and inclusion facilitator/trainer for the company.  In recognition, Kevin and Novant Health have won numerous awards over the years.

Myers stated that, “in reviewing Kevin’s portfolio, you can understand how his experiences cover all aspects of the Institute’s work and why we feel blessed to have Kevin be our next leader. He begins work on Monday March 9th”.

Kevin has a Masters in Health Administration and Masters in Business Administration, both from Pfeiffer University.  He is married to Michelle Y. Price and they have three young adult children.

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The Institute, headquartered in Durham, N.C., is a nonprofit management consulting and services organization focused on business diversity. It helps small businesses develop and grow, large corporations diversify their supply chains, and local and state governments expand their business base. For more information, contact the Institute at info@theinstitutenc.org.

Press Release: The Institute Welcomes New Policy Center Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

Contact:  Lew Myers                                 
Phone:    919-956-1899
Email:      info@theinstitutenc.org  

The Institute Welcomes New Policy Center Director

[Durham, NC, January 28]  The North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development (the Institute) welcomes Talitha Batts to its team as Director of The Policy Center.  In this role, Batts will revitalize the Institute’s Policy Center, advocate for economic growth of diverse communities, and advance state level policy.

Talitha Batts headshotTalitha Batts joins the Institute after an extensive and wide-ranging career in the corporate and collegiate arenas.  She began her career in the corporate world as a regional project manager for First Union National Bank (now Wells Fargo Bank) and Lenovo, Inc.  Batts’ transitioned her focus to public policy and education in 2015, leveraging her Masters of Education and Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science degrees to design and improve student engagement and curriculums at Saint Augustine’s University and small business start-up resources at NC State University’s Small Business Technology Development Center.  In these roles, Batts used her extensive knowledge of the business world to assist pre-venture and startup entities in securing capital and advocated for small rural based businesses as they worked to obtain sustainable development.  In 2017, Batts received the Women Economic Forum’s Iconic Women Creating a Better World for All award for her work in educating women and girls about business development through entrepreneurship.  Additionally, Batts is a Nominated Change Maker for The United State of Women, The White House Summit.

“I’m excited to revitalize some of our prior partnerships, as well as, build new relationships and initiatives,” Batts says about her new role.  “I have always been passionate about helping small businesses grow.  The Policy Center allows me the opportunity to combine my knowledge and experience for statewide impact.”

Talitha Batts joined the Institute team on January 8, 2020.  As part of the Policy Center, Batts will be working closely with all of the Institute’s programs to represent the needs of minority and women owned businesses to the North Carolina Legislature.  The Institute is proud to have Talitha Batts as a member of its team and looks forward to the positive impact she will have for the state of North Carolina.

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The Policy Center is a research based nonpartisan program of the Institute focusing on strengthening the economic health of diverse communities by convening stakeholders, expanding dialogue, and advancing policy prescriptions.  The Policy Center strengthens the base of research, data, and analysis that address the economic health of diverse populations and share findings with leaders and the public-at-large; offers policy recommendations for business development and economic security to build widely shared prosperity; and convenes community and business leaders, community groups, and higher education institutions to advance a shared agenda for economic growth in diverse communities.

The Institute, headquartered in Durham, N.C., is a nonprofit management consulting and services organization focused on business diversity. It helps small businesses develop and grow, large corporations diversify their supply chains, and local and state governments expand their business base. For more information, contact the Institute at info@theinstitutenc.org.

Press Release: Roberta McCullough, Women’s Business Center of North Carolina Executive Director, Appointed to National Board of the Association of Women’s Business Centers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

Contact:          Lew Myers
Phone:            919-956-1899
Email:              info@theinstitutenc.org  

Roberta McCullough, Women’s Business Center of North Carolina Executive Director,
Appointed to National Board of the Association of Women’s Business Centers

Durham, NC – Roberta McCullough, the Executive Director of The Institute’s Women’s Business Center of North Carolina program, was appointed to the Association of Women’s Business Centers national board on September 25, 2019.  The Association of Women’s Business Centers’ (AWBC) national board consists of eight board members and two staff.  The organization’s focus is advocacy for all women entrepreneurs through global awareness and financial and educational support.

“The appointment has both a professional and personal impact for me,” McCullough says.  “To be part of a national movement that supports women across the country reach their fullest potential in business, is embedded in my entire professional life.  Personally, I am proud to be a woman, and to be in a position to help other women grow.”

Currently, McCullough is working with the AWBC to gain support from the House of Representatives and the Senate on H.R. 4405, otherwise known as the Women’s Business Center Improvement Act of 2019.  The bill will make critical improvements to budgets for Women’s Business Centers nationwide, nearly doubling the federal funding available for their work.  If passed, funding will increase from $18.1 million to $35 million annually. 

“My goal is to do my part to ensure Women’s Business Centers across the country receive the well-deserved funding that their work has shown they deserve our tax dollars have already contributed,” says McCullough, “and to receive just recognition for the economic impact we have had on this country.  The Centers have not received an increase in funding in 31 years; that is a travesty!”  Currently, there are over 100 Women’s Business Centers across the United States and its territories, with services being offered in 38 different languages.  Over 145,400 clients have been served by Women’s Business Centers nationwide, leading to the creation of over 17,400 new businesses and 23,471 new jobs.

The Institute is incredibly proud of the work the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina has done, and of the growth Roberta McCullough will help all Women’s Business Centers achieve in her new role.

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About the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina
The mission of the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina (WBCNC) is to promote economic self-sufficiency for all women in North Carolina through entrepreneurship.  The WBCNC empowers women by offering tools and support to establish businesses, stabilize companies, generate sustainable profits, strategize for future growth and contribute to the growth and economic development of the community.

About the Institute
The Institute's headquarters on West Parrish Street in downtown Durham, N.C. anchors the heart of what was once knows as Black Wall Street. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and later designated a National Historic Landmark, the building remains one of only a handful of landmarks owned by a minority organization.

 

Press Release: Women's Business Center of Charlotte Receives SunTrust Foundation's 2019 Lighting the Way Award and $75,000 Grant

      

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

Contacts:      

Natalie Williams        
The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte  
704-509-5884 
nwilliams@theinstitutenc.org

Audria Belton
SunTrust Foundation
404-813-3664 
audria.belton@suntrust.com 

WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER OF CHARLOTTE RECEIVES SUNTRUST FOUNDATION’S
2019 LIGHTING THE WAY AWARD AND $75,000 GRANT

[DURHAM, October 3]  Recognized for its generous contributions to Charlotte, the Women’s Business Center of Charlotte was awarded a 2019 Lighting the Way Award and $75,000 grant by the SunTrust Foundation.

The SunTrust Foundation’s Lighting the Way Awards recognize select nonprofit organizations that work to build self-sufficient families and more financially confident communities through financial education, financial counseling, career readiness/workforce development and small business/entrepreneurship.

“The SunTrust Foundation is proud to recognize and support our local nonprofit partners that empower and strengthen the communities they serve,” said Stan Little, president of the SunTrust Foundation.  “The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte is making a meaningful impact with its programs to improve the financial well-being of the people who need it most.”

The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte, a program of the Institute, is one of 36 nonprofits across the Southeast and Midwest presented with a 2019 Lighting the Way Award from the SunTrust Foundation, which gave a total of $2.7 million in grants to these nonprofits.

“We are so very humbled and honored to be one of the thirty-six other organizations across the nation selected for this award,” said Natalie Williams, Executive Director of the Women’s Business Center of Charlotte.  “When I received the call that we had won the award, I just started crying.  All I could think about was how many small businesses we could serve.  We are so grateful for our relationship with the SunTrust Foundation, and are excited about the level of expertise we will be able to share with small businesses in their community."

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About the Women’s Business Center of Charlotte

Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCC, entrepreneurs, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged, are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of topics to help them start and grow their own businesses.

The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte’s mission, a program of the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development, is simple but IMPACTFUL which is to promote economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship for women in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area and surrounding areas.  WBCC has direct oversight of 12 Counties within the Charlotte Statistical Area (Anson, Alexander, Catawba, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincolnton, Mecklenburg, Stanly, Union & Rowan).

This program is specifically designed to empower women entrepreneurs and small business owners to establish businesses, achieve business goals, strategize for future growth, generate sustainable profits, stabilize their companies, and to contribute in the growth and economic development of our community.

About SunTrust Foundation

The SunTrust Foundation is committed to SunTrust Bank’s (NYSE: STI) purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being by engaging with local and national organizations to advance financial confidence. Grants and activities focus primarily on financial education, financial counseling, career readiness and small business/entrepreneurship, in addition to local community grants. The SunTrust Foundation supports American Red Cross disaster relief efforts and contributes as a United Way Global Corporate Leader. Established in 2008, the SunTrust Foundation has proudly provided grants totaling more than $170 million throughout the United States.

Press Release: Farad Ali, President and CEO, Tapped for New Role at the National Minority Supplier Development Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 17, 2018

Contact:     Lew Myers, Interim President and CEO
Phone:      
  919-971-5680
Email:          info@theinstitutenc.org

Farad Ali, President and CEO, Tapped for New Role at the
National Minority Supplier Development Council

Grew Programs, Revenue, Impact during Tenure; Board Chair Lew Myers to Be Interim CEO

Durham, NC -- The Board of Directors of The Institute, a nationally-known nonprofit management consulting and services firm based in downtown Durham, today announced the departure of President and CEO Farad Ali, who will assume the role of Vice President for the National Minority Supplier Development Council in New York City beginning in January.

Mr. Ali, an accomplished non-profit executive, champion for racial equity, and recent mayoral candidate, spent a total of 16 years with the Institute in various capacities before taking the helm in 2014, upon the retirement of founding CEO Andrea Harris. During his four-year tenure, Ali reshaped the organization’s business diversity strategies, cultivated new partnerships, and implemented a robust earned income model to improve the regional ecosystem for minority and women business owners statewide and regionally. Among The Institute’s recent accomplishments include:

  • Reinvigorating and managing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s South Atlantic Small Business Transportation Resource Center, covering North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Washington, D.C.
  • Partnering with the N.C. Department of Transportation to deliver a targeted job training program in Tier One counties, resulting in over 400 individuals securing employment in transportation and construction projects throughout the state.
  • Establishing two U. S. Small Business Administration Women’s Business Centers, covering the state of North Carolina and earning the U.S. Small Business Administration Outstanding Women’s Business Center of the Year in 2014.
  • Securing annual support from the Corporation for National and Community Service to operate the award-winning N.C. Public Allies, a leadership and workforce development program that has trained and mentored diverse youth since 2010.

Ali also serves on the boards of directors for the Raleigh-Durham International Airport Authority, Latino Community Credit Union, Airport Minority Advisory Council National Association, Center for Community Self-Help, Triangle Community Foundation and the Triangle YMCA.

“I am and always will be deeply committed to Durham, to North Carolina, and to the transformative work of The Institute, which has been made possible only with the extraordinary partnership and dedication of my colleagues, board members, and mentor, Andrea Harris,” said Ali. “There is much still to be done to elevate the strengths, skills and extraordinary untapped potential of minority businesses and entrepreneurs, and I look forward to extending the experience and lessons I have gained in N.C. to a national context.”

A search for the Institute’s next CEO will begin in January. Board Chair Lew Myers will serve as Interim CEO during the transition period.

“While our Board, staff and stakeholders are sad to let him go, Farad is leaving The Institute in a stronger position strategically, programmatically and fiscally than four years ago,” said Myers. “We could not have asked for a better growth partner and business diversity advocate, and we wish him all the best at the national level.”

Myers, a founding board member of the Institute and current Board Chair, retired as Director of Marketing for the Freelon Group (now Perkins + Will) in 2016. Prior to joining the Freelon Group, Mr. Myers managed his own successful consulting firm, served as a vice-president for a construction management firm, and was Assistant Secretary for Small Business with the N.C. Department of Commerce. Ali will serve in a consulting capacity for 90 days to ensure project partners experience a smooth transition.

Additional information about the Institute is attached and at www.theinstitutenc.org.

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About the Institute

The Institute was founded in 1986 as the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development with a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and N.C. Association of Minority Businesses to diversify North Carolina’s business base as a strategy for expanding economic opportunity.

Business, government and community leaders recognized then that globalization, changing demographics and technology were changing the game, replacing traditional industries and markets with new ones that required different skills and strategies for business success. Engaging significant untapped segments of the population – racial minorities, women, people with disabilities, rural residents and others – became a business and economic imperative.

Today, more than 30 years later, the Institute remains the only organization of its kind in the country focused on business and economic growth through effective business diversity. North Carolina's model of collaboration and its exceptional ecosystem are recognized as a model by other states and regions. The Institute continues to work with small businesses, multinational corporations, local governments and state leaders to open doors of opportunity and create an environment where businesses of all kinds grow and thrive.

The Institute's headquarters on West Parrish Street in downtown Durham, N.C. anchors the heart of what was once knows as Black Wall Street. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and later designated a National Historic Landmark, the building remains one of only a handful of landmarks owned by a minority organization.

Board of Directors

Lewis H. Myers, Chairman
Michael Suggs, Vice Chairman, Goler Community Development Corporation
Dr. Tyrone R. Baines, PhD., Secretary, Honda American Motor Co.
Lori Jones Gibbs, Treasurer, PNC Bank
Martin Eakes, Self-Help
Dr. Edward Fort, NC A&T University
Michael Goodmon, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc.
Sue Malone, Strategies for Small Business
Will C. Mann, Wells Fargo Social Responsibility Group
Troy Roberts, Alliance of Professionals & Consultants, Inc.

Press Release: The Institute Welcomes New SBTRC Executive Director to DC Metro Area

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

Contact:          Farad Ali
Phone:            919-956-1899
Email:              info@theinstitutenc.org  

THE INSTITUTE WELCOMES NEW SBTRC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO DC METRO AREA

[District of Columbia, Metro Area, November 15]  The North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development (the Institute) welcomes Clayton Toppin to its team as DC Metro Area Executive Director for the South Atlantic Region Small Business Transportation Resource Center.  In this role, Toppin will develop and implement processes to facilitate activities on behalf of small businesses in the DC Metro Area by providing access to opportunities, technical assistance and financial resources.

Toppin joins the Institute after an extensive career in business development.  For over ten years, Toppin has built public and private sector relationships with local and regional businesses; assisted in creating capital development strategy; and been the catalyst for growth within large and small businesses.  These skills paired with his Masters of Business Administration from Colorado Technical University position Toppin to excel in the role of Executive Director.

Clayton Toppin joined the Institute team on October 15, 2018.  As part of the Small Business Transportation Resource Center, Toppin is working closely with the Greensboro and Durham SBTRC offices to implement Bonding Education Programs, Access to Capital Programs, and the Women and Girls in Transportation Initiative.  The Institute is proud to have Clayton Toppin as a member of its team, and looks forward to the positive impact he will have on small businesses in the DC market. 

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The South Atlantic Region Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC) serves as a regional office for the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU).  SBTRC works closely with prime and subcontractors, as well as state and local transportation agencies within the South Atlantic Region.  The main focus of the SBTRC is assisting firms that are interested in doing business with the U.S. DOT directly, or with state and local agencies receiving U.S. DOT funding.  SBTRC supports small businesses in the District of Columbia and the four-state region of Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Institute, headquartered in Durham, N.C., is a nonprofit management consulting and services organization focused on business diversity. It helps small businesses develop and grow, large corporations diversify their supply chains, and local and state governments expand their business base. For more information, contact the Institute at info@theinstitutenc.org.

Press Release: PNC Bank Grant Funds Women and Girls in Transportation Initiative

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       

Contact:          Farad Ali
Phone:             919-956-8889
Email:              info@theinstitutenc.org

PNC BANK GRANT FUNDS WOMEN AND GIRLS IN TRANSPORTATION INITIATIVE 
Providing Transportation Job Opportunities in Eastern NC

[DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA, September 5]  The Institute’s long-standing partnership with the Department of Transportation through the South Atlantic Region’s Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC) has been strengthened by the commitment and dedication of PNC Bank.  Through a $25,000 grant to SBTRC, PNC Bank is helping SBTRC create employment opportunities for women and girls in Eastern North Carolina. 

The PNC Bank grant will be used to directly fund the SBTRC’s Women and Girls in Transportation Initiative (WITI), a program offered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Funding from PNC Bank allows the Institute’s Small Business Transportation Resource Center to join a dozen other centers across the United States that offer programming to encourage women and girls to consider transportation as a career path.  Women are historically underrepresented in transportation related careers, a multibillion dollar industry.  The South Atlantic Region SBTRC has participated in the Women and Girls in Transportation Initiative in the past to spark the interest of women in this field by offering internships to female college students with transportation-related agencies.  Young girls in middle and high school participate in the WITI program through an annual event Transportation & STEM Career Fair at North Carolina School of Science and Math.  Both programs provide exposure to well-established women in transportation and engineering careers.

“The WITI program creates career pathways in a field with infinite possibilities,” says Farad Ali, President and CEO of the Institute.  “PNC Bank’s dedication to building gender diversity in the workplace directly aligns with the Institute’s mission of helping clients harness the power of diversity to achieve business and economic objectives.  We thank PNC Bank for their commitment to building pathways for women in our state.”

PNC Bank’s commitment to the South Atlantic Region SBTRC will provide two paid internship positions for female students interested in learning more about careers in the transportation industry.  Students from rural counties in Eastern North Carolina are eligible to apply for these PNC Bank funded internships.  The SBTRC is currently working with regional government agencies in Vance County to define internship projects that align with currently planned projects.

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The Institute, headquartered in Durham, N.C., is a nonprofit management consulting and services organization focused on business diversity. It helps small businesses develop and grow, large corporations diversify their supply chains, and local and state governments expand their business base. For more information on WITI, or to apply for an internship, contact the South Atlantic Region SBTRC at SBTRC@theinstitutenc.org.

Press Release: Wells Fargo Continues Long-Standing Partnership with The Institute to Support Business Diversity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       

Contact:          Farad Ali
Phone:             919-956-8889
Email:              info@theinstitutenc.org

 WELLS FARGO CONTINUES LONG-STANDING PARTNERSHIP WITH THE INSTITUTE TO SUPPORT BUSINESS DIVERSITY
Building Diverse Business Opportunities throughout North Carolina

 [DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA, August 9] For over 20 years, Wells Fargo and the Institute have shared a common mission and vision for our state:  creating opportunities for diverse businesses in the public and private marketplace. Wells Fargo has renewed its commitment to this vision, and the work of the Institute, with a $75,000 grant. This grant supports the Institute’s work to advocate for policies that support business diversity and advances educational opportunities through the Institute’s programs like the Minority Executive Education Institute. Ultimately, these initiatives will continue to expand business opportunities for diverse businesses in North Carolina’s public and private sectors.

Wells Fargo’s commitment to creating business opportunities has not only built a strong relationship between the two organizations, but has also provided an extensive network of resources to minority owned and operated businesses throughout the state. Due in part to the funding Wells Fargo has provided for the past 20 years, the Institute has been able to serve over 10,000 clients and create 3,100 jobs.

“Wells Fargo’s financial support of the Institute is critical to the success of our programs, and the businesses our clients are building,” says Farad Ali, President and CEO of the Institute. “Wells Fargo’s commitment to the communities in which it does business is clear in both funding and in the support of Wells Fargo team members.”

“Wells Fargo is proud to continue our long-term relationship with the Institute and support for its programs focused on expanding diverse businesses across North Carolina,” said Juan Austin, Community Relations Senior Manager for Wells Fargo in the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic Markets. “Our commitment extends beyond financial support and includes active team member leadership and involvement.”

Will Mann, Community Relations Leader for Wells Fargo’s East Coast markets, has served on the Institute’s board for over 20 years.

“Without Wells Fargo’s financial and team member support, the landscape of diverse business opportunities in North Carolina would look vastly different. We deeply appreciate and thank Wells Fargo for all they continue to do for the businesses we support,” said Ali.

In the coming year, the Institute plans to invest the Wells Fargo grant directly into advocacy initiatives and programs to build business capacity for minority owned businesses with goal of creating additional jobs throughout North Carolina in 2019.

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The Institute, headquartered in Durham, N.C., is a nonprofit management consulting and services organization focused on business diversity. It helps small businesses develop and grow, large corporations diversify their supply chains, and local and state governments expand their business base. For more information, contact the Institute at info@theinstitutenc.org.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 8,050 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 38 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

The Helius Foundation, The Institute, and AJ Fletcher Partner to build a microloan program dedicated to Durham's necessity-driven entrepreneurs

Three Helius entrepreneurs are among the first participants of the new Microloan Program developed for small businesses by the Helius Foundation, a non-profit business training program founded in 2015. The program includes a one-day educational seminar held in partnership with The Institute and the AJ Fletcher Foundation in Durham, NC.

Michael Goodmon of Capitol Broadcasting and the AJ Fletcher Foundation, along with Farad Ali, CEO of The Institute, will present at the event. We will have a number of Helius Fellows attend the event, which includes discussions on everything from how to develop a successful business plan to the ins and outs of business finances.

Geraud Staton, Executive Director of the Helius Foundation, will be on hand to help facilitate the training. He believes the Helius Microloan program fills a void in the marketplace for small business owners needing to secure small, more affordable microloans that may not otherwise be available to them.

“Entrepreneurship is important for the economy of Durham and the Triangle as a whole,” Geraud said. “Entrepreneurship helps create jobs, build self-sustainability, and results in innovation. And access to capital is often a barrier for new and expanding businesses. Thanks to the AJ Fletcher Foundation and our partnership with The Institute, the Helius Microloan Program will be a valued support to Durham entrepreneurs.”

The Helius Microloan Program was designed expressly for entrepreneurs in communities for whom loans of $500 to $5,000 would have a positive impact on their home businesses. From additional working capital, to equipment repair, to purchasing inventory, these microloans are a welcomed relief from tremendously costly payday loans.

As Farad Ali of The Institute says, "Micro-Businesses and Small Business are important in the business eco-system of our diverse community. At the Institute, we value strengthening the asset base of our community by expanding the access to capital." That makes Helius and the Institute ideal partners in this program.

Geraud said, quoting the Helius mission statement, “We see a Durham where everyone has the capability to support themselves and their families with dignity, in the face of educational, financial and racial inequalities.”

Michael Goodmon says, “Durham is a special community because people here care; it’s part of why Durham has made such an incredible come back. But in order to sustain that growth and ensure that growth happens throughout the city, access to capital for small businesses is critical. The funds from AJ Fletcher Foundation will tap in to Durham’s caring nature by matching investments on the Kiva platform and open up more capital for small businesses in Durham.”

Article and image courtesy of The Helius Foundation