WILMINGTON — Nine Delaware Black-owned businesses are stronger now after graduating as the inaugural class of the Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce EnrichDelaware program.
On Tuesday, during a ceremony held in Wilmington surrounded by supporters, family and friends, the businesses’ owners were each given a Streetwise “MBA.”
The Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce was created to provide peer support, resources and training to small businesses in Delaware with a specific focus on Black-owned businesses.
“Part of our mission is to provide support to entrepreneurs to help them focus their business,” said DEBCC founder and president Ayanna Khan.
Shortly after forming in 2020, Ms. Khan started brainstorming on the best way to provide that support. Soon after she partnered with Interise, a national nonprofit group.
Interise works to build diverse and inclusive local economies through small business development, supporting the growth of minority-owned small businesses and small businesses located in low-and-moderate-income communities.
To meet those goals, the group created the Streetwise “MBA” program.
To enter the program, the businesses went through an application and interview process. Once they were chosen, they committed to seven months of learning.
The program centered on topics like business development strategies, strategic planning, finance and financial management, marketing/sales, human resources, accessing capital and contracting with the government and major corporations.
The inaugural EnrichDelaware graduating class consists of:
Ms. Davis, who owns and operates T. Nicole Solutions, a human resource firm, called her EnrichDelaware experience, “business changing.”
“I am super grateful for being included in the inaugural EnrichDelaware cohort,” Ms. Davis said.
Part of the program included a customized three-year strategic growth plan for each participant.
“I am so proud of our initial cohort and all of the hard work that each of them put in to achieve their success. Each graduate has completed this program because their heart is in their respective businesses and their businesses beat within their hearts. They not only demonstrated commitment to growing your business, and a commitment to enriching their own personal business acumen, but also a commitment and education to enriching Delaware’s entire business community, and in the process, their efforts are leading to an enriched and more diverse business economy that contributes to a level playing field for all throughout Delaware.” Ms. Khan said.
“We also would like to thank our partners Interise, Wilmington Alliance, Cornerstone West CDC and the Small Business Development Center.”
The support and learning are not done for the nine businesses. The Small Business Development Center has developed EnrichDelaware 2.0 to continue supporting the graduates in the years to come.
New businesses wanting to enroll in the program can apply at debcc.org. Ms. Khan said applications will be taken this summer for the second cohort to start in the fall.