Twenty entrepreneurs of color receive business funding, coaching
Twenty Greater Manchester entrepreneurs of color will receive up to $5,000 and specialized business coaching from a collaboration of the Manchester Branch of the NAACP and New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.
Twenty Greater Manchester entrepreneurs of color will receive up to $5,000 and specialized business coaching from the C-DEE Accelerator, a collaboration of the Manchester Branch of the NAACP and New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.
The announcement was made recently at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
Community-Driven Economic Empowerment (C-DEE) is a pilot program serving entrepreneurs of color in Greater Manchester. It created the C-DEE Accelerator as a special opportunity to help businesses become more resilient and self-sufficient. The Accelerator provides one-time funds for computer hardware or software and professional services, including legal consultation, bookkeeping, marketing, and business coaching or consulting.
With C-DEE, "We wanted to explore how we can help minority-owned businesses and communities do their own economic development," said Manchester NAACP President James McKim.
Nicole Sublette, founder of Therapists of Color New England, is one of the C-DEE Accelerator funding recipients.
The Accelerator received 26 applications, from which 20 were selected to receive a total of $52,586. All applicants have been paired with a free business coach from either the Center for Women & Enterprise or Small Business Development Centers.
“We’ve heard from entrepreneurs of color that many wish they had relationships with business funders and coaches,” said Steve Saltzman, Community Loan Fund President and CEO. “The C-DEE Accelerator is a step toward creating and nurturing those connections, not only for these recipients but for similar businesses across New Hampshire.”
“I hope this is the beginning of a long relationship with each and every one of these entrepreneurs,” he said.
One of the recipients, Lilliana Alvarado, owns UpHealing, an interior design company specializing in friendly and comfortable healthcare environments. She said the Accelerator funding will be a great help because design software is expensive.
Nicole Sublette, a holistic psychotherapist, said, "Not only has this helped with funding, but it has also helped with mentorship, which I think is really important for a business."
According to the Pew Research Center, 12% of the United States population identifies as Black but owns only 3% of all businesses. One reason is that many of those businesses find it difficult to get growth funding from traditional sources. Companies that received Accelerator awards include a restaurant, grocery store, journalist, bookkeeper, photographer, retail shop, and dance studio.
More news coverage:
New Hampshire Union Leader (paywall): 20 minority-owned businesses receive funds to invest in growth