( ENSPIRE Business ) GM is Making an Investment to Strengthen Black Women Entrepreneurs
ENSPIRE Contributor: LaShonda Thompson
The WELL, by NLD Strategic, is happy to announce its partnership with General Motors (NYSE:GM) and the National Business League, which will advance and transform small black woman owned businesses. The Women Entrepreneurship Leadership Lab (WELL), through their Early Entrepreneur Growth Program and with a $50,000 investment from General Motors, will launch and graduate a national cohort of 20 members, host a pitch competition, and provide 10 scholarships in the following target cities: Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington D.C/Baltimore. Detroit, being the home to General Motors, will also serve as a home to a new chapter for The WELL network. With the city having 49,000 black businesses and 95% of those businesses having no employees, GM is making an investment to strengthen black women entrepreneurs by empowering them with the tools to run a profitable and thriving business. For generations there have been disproportionate gender and racial disadvantages that black women have had to endure due to systemic racism and sexism. Also lending to this large economic barrier is the pandemic, which has exacerbated circumstances and widened disparities; this partnership will create new opportunities and investments into the growth and sustainability of these business owners.
The National Business League, the first and largest nonprofit, non-partisan, and nonsectarian, Black business professional and trade association, founded August 23, 1900 by the iconic Booker T. Washington, will help recruit cohort members, provide expert coaching through its membership, and inform programming with the WELL.
“Black women are the fastest growing sector of entrepreneurs in the country, regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation and or gender, but the least supported in terms of opportunity and growth of revenue. This national partnership kicking off in Detroit, between the WELL, General Motors and the National Business League aims to address this continued barrier to entry into the marketplace by providing technical assistance ongoing education and training.” – Kenneth L. Harris, Ph.D. National President/CEO of the National Business League, Inc.
Building supportive ecosystems, strengthening fundamental principles of business, and
bridging the gap to institutions, like General Motors and the National Business League,
creates a ripple effect of impact that the WELL believes will empower black families and their communities.
“Supplier Diversity is the economic engine that drives empowerment, equity, and
inclusion into our supply chain & business community. As such, General Motors is proud to partner with NLD Strategic, to support the advancement of black woman-owned businesses. Our mission is to serve as bridge builders, connecting an ecosystem of diverse suppliers, communities, advocacy organizations, and customers. It is with this spirit that we invest in unique initiatives, such as the Women Entrepreneur Leadership Lab (the WELL), that will uplift influential local black business owners.”, says Cheryl Greer, GM Supplier Diversity Program Manager.
The 6-month program will educate and host workshops on finance and accounting; small business law; marketing & branding; systems and operations; and implementation of new technology. Applications and information on the program are now available on the WELL website. Deadline for applications is June 27th.
The Women Entrepreneur Leadership Lab (The WELL) was founded in 2018 by
Nakeia L. Drummond, owner of NLD Strategic, an equity-centered management
consulting firm. The WELL is a Black women powered network of entrepreneurs that
have come together to build a synergistic community where every member grows her
businesses, creates wealth, and leads at the level of her dreams!
NLD Strategic, LLC is a black-women owned, Baltimore-based consulting firm that
exists to ensure an organization’s most important social impact initiatives are amplified
by results-driven strategy that keeps equity at the center. We support clients nationally to develop a path forward and execute strategy that transforms organizations, so that they can deliver sustainable impact. The WELL is NLD Strategics’ flagship initiative aimed at improving equitable outcomes and economic inclusion for black women, their families, and their communities.
For more information on the program, check out The Well Website.