Mountain Business Equity Initiative (MBEI) is a community-centered, Black-led response seeking to restoring our people and our communities to greatness while building a legacy for those that come behind us. This program is designed to deliver high-quality technical assistance to emerging, or existing Black, indigenous, People of Color (BiPOC) led and owned small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs across the 10-county Asheville Market and beyond. This work is a direct response to the 2018 Disparity Study, and the work that followed on community action planning, while engaging community members, entrepreneurs and leaders in a strategic response. Our focus is disrupting disparity that has continued to impact the BiPOC community, and especially the Black community for generations and we are striving for entrepreneurial equity through education, empowerment & economic mobility. Our program covers topics not traditionally offered in business planning, or business development work such as resilience, entrepreneurial mindset, visioning, creativity, investing in community, racial equity and accountability – thus, we are addressing and filling a true gap for BiPOC communities in the entrepreneurial pipeline.
This program is designed to deliver high-quality technical assistance to emerging, or existing Black, indigenous, People of Color (BiPOC) led and owned small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs across the 10-county Asheville Market and beyond. This work is a direct response to the 2018 Disparity Study, and the work that followed on community action planning, while engaging community members, entrepreneurs and leaders in a strategic response. Our focus is disrupting disparity that has continued to impact the BiPOC community, and especially the Black community for generations and we are striving for entrepreneurial equity through education, empowerment & economic mobility. For our inaugural 2020 cohort, we will be offering the Core Track, additional support is offered for those seeking the Youth or Expansion Tracks. The program runs September 14 - December 7 with a new module opening on Monday, and concluding on Sunday. Anticipated schedule is as follows ::
September 14 // Module 1 // Entrepreneurial Mindset: Creating Versus Reacting
In this module, participants will learn and explore definitions of entrepreneurship as well as examine limiting beliefs that may be in the way of full business ownership, entrepreneurship and or believing business expansion is possible. Additionally, we engage and welcome our creativity as a needed component of the recipe to success.
September 21 // Module 2 // Legacy + History of Black Enterprise
In this module, participants will be exposed to the untold narrative of Black enterprise, Black Wall Streets, and the beautiful history of Black production and ownership in America and more specifically, North Carolina. participants will give mindful participation and engagement to historical case studies and examine what lessons from the past.
September 28 // Module 3 // Vision Roadmap + Business Planning: Taking Inventory, Setting Pace
In this module, participants will take personal inventory and professional inventory to clearly acknowledge strengths, resources, assets, and support. Additionally, participants will explore outlines for business planning alongside their vision and goals for entrepreneurship, and create a roadmap with milestones and markers along the way to their destination of entrepreneurship, startup, or small business expansion.
October 5 // Module 4 // Online Communication + Resources in the era of COVID-19
In this module, participants will explore online platforms, phone applications, and other online tech resources that support communicating and gathering teams, groups and communities while remaining physically distant in COVID-19. Additionally, in this session, participants will have peer share time to get creative and reflect how to adapt and adjust and stay resilient beyond COVID-19.
October 12 // Module 5 // Building Action Beyond White Supremacy Culture
In this module, participants will explore the characteristics of white supremacy culture and establish an understanding how those dynamics play out in business as well as how those may show up in workplace culture and how to address and design beyond oppressive systems. Additionally, we begin to explore the harms of “competition” vetting.
October 19 // Module 6 // What If…? I Have the Courage to Create.
In this module, participants will spend time crafting, mission, vision and objective statements for their business or idea. Additionally, participants may opt to draft these statements for their life's work and personal personal journey for their lives.
October 26 // Module 7 // Sustainability: Balancing Profit, People and Planet
In this module participants will be introduced into the concept of permaculture as well as ancient cultural practices and business being a harmonious aspect to community life. Additionally, participants will outline steps, practices and policies that will ensure a business culture that is balanced and mindful as well as the technical skills of financial management + reporting.
November 2 // Module 8 // Brand, Reputation, Integrity + Accountability
In this module, participants will understand the importance of reputation in order to build a positive brand and identify the practices of integrity and accountability that will govern their business practices.
November 9 // Module 9 // Procurement + Contracting
In this module participants overview city and county vendor registration, bid and RFP processes. Additionally, participants will learn the macro skills of negotiations and drafting agreements and scopes of work for their business.
November 16 // Module 10 // Solidarity + Abundance as Economic Mobility
In this module, participants will explore the core tenets and principles of cooperatives (which are inherently linked to the Nguzo Saba, the 7 African Principles of Life) and differentiate extractive practices such as competition, capitalism, lack, scarcity, and others from regenerative practices of cooperation, solidarity and abundance mindset.
November 23 // Module 11 // Outreach + Engagement
In this module, participants will explore intentions, influence and investment in community as well as how to be in right relationship with community needs and solutions as an entrepreneur, start up, or small business.
November 30 // Module 12 // Human Relations + Resources
In this module, participants will explore topics such as recruitment, retention, and onboarding as important aspects in being in relationship with community members, contractors, employees, interns, mentees, families, donors, and others that hold stake in the business and work.
December 7 // Module 13 // Building Resilience
In this module, participants will engage in discussion around looking ahead, through a process of visioning, execution, evaluation, and mentorship. Additionally, participants will share final presentations and reflections of the learning journey along with a moment of acknowledgement to those earning Certificates of Completion. This module will conclude by discussing next steps in the learning journey within the MBEI community.
For more information about our work, visit mountainbizequity.com, or click below to enroll in our active, and rolling cohort!