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The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is proud to partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration to launch an LGBT economic empowerment tour for communities of color. Many Faces. One Dream. seeks to bring focus on the communities’ economic power, innovation and creativity in the small business sphere. The tour will occur in 13 major cities throughout the country that have a significant LGBT presence in communities of color, including Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Newark, Oakland/San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
Many Faces. One Dream. participants will select one of two tracks: “Starting Your Business” and “Taking Your Business to the Next Level.” In the first track, training will be provided on the key elements of a business plan, loans, marketing, and SBA’s program and services. The second track will be geared toward LGBT firms that are currently in business but want to expand and grow.
In each city, Many Faces. One Dream. will host a “Small Business Marketplace” featuring financial services and certification agents to support small business development. The marketplace will be a venue for LGBT-owned businesses of color to have access to the resources and tools needed to grow and sustain their enterprise. Key components of the marketplace include opportunities to exchange business-to-business products and services information; the SBA and SCORE one-on-one counseling for entrepreneurs and small businesses; and the opportunity to learn about the various certification available and how to do business with the local, state and federal government. Additionally, the Marketplace will provide value to corporate sponsors who can add to their supplier diversity databases while demonstrating their commitment to being a good corporate partner within LGBT communities of color.
“NGLCC is honored to partner with the National Black Justice Coalition and the U.S. Small Business Administration on this groundbreaking initiative for underserved communities,” said Justin Nelson, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Co-Founder and President. “We are thrilled to serve as a conduit for LGBT entrepreneurs of color to not only get certified and strategically grow their businesses, but also establish valuable business connections across the nation. We look forward to meeting business owners and future business owners in the cities where they live and working with them to build strong and fully inclusive local economies.”
Black Enterprise magazine has also partnered with NBJC as the Many Faces. One Dream. national media sponsor. The premier business news and investment resource for African Americans will work to develop content relative to the tour and wealth creation for LGBT communities of color across all platforms–print, digital and television.
“Small business represents the engine of commercial innovation, employment opportunities, and economic development. As the state of the economy gives birth to a virtual nation of entrepreneurs, we will benefit immensely from a transformative development inclusive of LGBT business owners of color,” explains Derek T. Dingle, Black Enterprise Editor-in-Chief. “Black Enterprise is proud to partner with the National Black Justice Coalition and the U.S. Small Business Administration on theMany Faces. One Dream. tour, demonstrating that we will ensure all best business minds are included in the process of building a new America.”
“This groundbreaking initiative is an exciting continuation of NBJC’s ongoing work to empower people at the intersection of the movements for racial justice and LGBT equality,” declares The Honorable Darryl Moore, Berkeley City Councilman and NBJC Board Chair. “NBJC envisions a world where all people are fully empowered to participate safely and successfully in society, regardless of race, class, gender identity or sexual orientation. Many Faces. One Dream. brings this vision one step closer to being a reality.”
“Despite the challenges we face, gay and transgender people represent an untapped segment of aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners,” explains NBJC Executive Director Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks. “Rich with ideas and talent, LGBT men and women are creating and leading their own companies. It’s time to expand the conversation from economic security to economic empowerment. It’s time for us to own our power.”
For more information, visit nbjc.org/many-faces-one-dream. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for Many Faces. One Dream., please contact Michael J. Brewer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-319-1552 x104.