RALEIGH—Throughout February, Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF) will be bringing its Black Entrepreneurship Series to three cities across the state, where they will collaborate with ecosystem partners to host panels and networking events that showcase the power of Black entrepreneurship while highlighting challenges and opportunities for Black entrepreneurs in high-growth industries.
As a nonprofit and U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Carolina Small Business Development Fund provides capital, technical assistance, and other supports to entrepreneurs who have historically been underserved or have faced structural barriers to accessing business development and scaling resources.
“Each stop on our tour is intentional,” said CSBDF President and CEO Kevin Dick. “Durham and the broader Triangle, Wilmington, and Charlotte all have unique ties to our state’s vibrancy of Black entrepreneurship, and each region has unique connections to our state’s fastest-growing industries.”
CSBDF’s three-city tour starts in Durham on February 7, and will be held from 5-9 p.m. in partnership with Provident 1898 at their Chapel Hill Street location downtown. The Triangle/Durham stop will feature two panels: Overcoming Challenges and Barriers Related to Tech Entry and Scaling, and Access to Financial Capital, Knowledge Capital, and Opportunity. These panels will feature representatives from CSBDF, Asociar, North Carolina Central University, Informatics Concepts, Durham County Government, and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.
The second tour stop will be in Wilmington on February 15 at the McKeithan Center at Cape Fear Community College. For this event, CSBDF is partnering with Genesis Block, a small business accelerator that seeks to build the entrepreneurial class of Wilmington and has a goal to connect minority-owned firms to more than $2.5 million in contracting opportunities through their “Converting Conversations to Contracts” trade show-style series. CSBDF and Genesis Block are combining their events to present “Converting Conversations to Contracts + Capital,” which will include the panel “Overcoming Challenges while Accessing Capital in Construction.” This panel will feature representatives from CSBDF, Genesis Block, R. Bell Construction, Partners in Equity, the North Carolina Department of Administration, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The third and final stop of the 2023 Black Entrepreneurship Series will be held in Charlotte on February 23, from 5-9 p.m. CSBDF will partner with Studio 229, a sought-after event and convening space to host the event at their location. This event will feature two panels: Overcoming Challenges and Barriers Related to Entry and Scaling in Accommodations and Food Services; and Accessing Financial Capital, Knowledge Capital, and Opportunity. These panels will feature representatives from CSBDF, Black Business Owners of Charlotte, CBK Branding, The Main Event, Nexsen Pruet, Leslie’s Laundry Care, FDY, Inc., and The Brown Sugar Collab.
In addition to the panels, each stop on the tour will include networking opportunities with funders and business resource providers, as well as pep rallies that celebrate each region’s small business ecosystem.
“Time and again, North Carolina has been rated a top state for business and entrepreneurship. While this rich business climate should be celebrated every day of the year, Black History Month provides a unique opportunity to uplift and recognize challenges and opportunities within the Black small business ecosystem,” said Dick. “We want to connect small businesses to opportunities in high growth industries, but we also want to take the time to celebrate the people, partners, and resource providers that have made North Carolina a great place to start and grow Black businesses.”
About Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF)
Founded in 1990, Carolina Small Business Development Fund is a nonprofit and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that fosters economic development in underserved communities through access to capital, technical assistance, and policy research to light the way for small businesses. Since 2010, CSBDF has contributed more than $98.4 million through 1,133 loans and 1,602 grants to dedicated small business across North Carolina, helping to create or retain more than 4,700 full-time jobs.
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