Constructing and celebrating an inclusive company tradition by Heather McWhorter

According to the census, 12% of businesses in southeast North Carolina are minority owned. According to the census, 21% of the population are non-white and non-Hispanic. Similarly, 37% of companies are owned by women and 52% of the population are women.

These statistics indicate a breakup. How can we shift the statistics in our region so that there is a 1: 1 correlation between company ownership and population? How can we level the playing field to ensure everyone has an equal chance of success? After all, entrepreneurship has the potential to be a great balance. Several organizations in the Cape Fear region, including the Cape Fear YWCA Living the Dream Center for Entrepreneurship, Genesis Block, and the Kairos Empowerment Center, have made it their business to analyze these statistics. However, each of us can make a contribution.

One way is to support existing minority and women owned businesses by purchasing their products and services. Light enough! Another option is to celebrate the success of successful business owners. A third option is to share and participate in education and networking opportunities so everyone has an equal opportunity to start and grow a thriving business.

Everyone in our community (including you!) Is invited to join the Cape Fear Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week from October 4-8, 2021 to celebrate, learn, and network. With more than 30 virtual and personal events there is something for everyone. Register for events here today.

The activities of the Cape Fear Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week are part of the national observance of the Minority Enterprise Development Week, which was established by the President’s proclamation in 1983. Our local series of events began in 2015 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) and has been coordinated with the help of community partners to understand the economic impact of minority and women owned businesses. It is a week-long community-for-community event. It is led by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce this year.

Below is a list of the extensive options available on the Cape Fear MED Week website. As I wrote this column, I considered giving just a few examples, but how would I start shortening this list with one extraordinary event after another?

Monday 4th October

– Video marketing to make selling your products and services effortless

– Create positive work areas

– Optimize your website for more traffic

– Stabilization and growth for your grocery business

– Contracting 101: sale to the government

– Your First Follower: A guide for start-up founders

– Minorities in marine science and ocean entrepreneurship

Tuesday October 5th

– Coalition round tables

– Google for Your Business Mini Summit

– Free resources for developing business ideas in the Cape Fear Region

– Positioning Mental Health in Your Business Plan for Success

– YouTube advertising to scale your business on a budget

– “Are your materials 4 months late? Is Your Supply Chain Broken? ”: A discussion of supply chain requirements and anomalies

– Leverage the US Small Business Administration’s national resources for your business (it’s easier than you think!)

– Intentional collisions

Wednesday October 6th

– Building the leadership presence for success

– 1 million cups of Wilmington

– Social Entrepreneurship Panel: Growth of your company and your society

– Retraining and Continuing Education: A Guide for the Future

– 21 Ways To Use Word Of Mouth Marketing In 2021

– Know your numbers

– From the idea to the company: Interview with Latino entrepreneurs from the Cape Fear region

– Women: Find Your Profession!

– Anza product launch & networking

Thursday October 7th

– Use Tier 1, 2 and 3 strategy to increase minority participation in construction

– Latino Small Business Loans

– WilmingtonBiz Conference & Expo 2021

Friday October 8th

– Diversity & Equity in the Workplace and Employee Engagement

– Strategy Roundtable Sessions: How companies can plan properly to scale and sustain their growth

– Conduct effective meetings – Essential skills for today’s ambitious leader

– Digital Marketing: How to do more in less time with less money

– Business development opportunities through the US Small Business Administration Contracting Programs from 8a and HUBZone

– Genesis block demo day

Register for the Cape Fear Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week events here today. Celebrate, learn and network. Also, make sure you buy something from a minority and women’s business this week and every week.

Heather McWhorter empowers individuals and communities to thrive through entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability. She is interim director of the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and regional director of the UNCW SBTDC. Information on how CIE combines, uses and ignites regional strengths and university expertise to create innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges can be found at

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