Commonwealth Corporation (CommCorp), in partnership with state and community-based organizations, is hosting a nine-part roundtable event series geared towards fostering meaningful access and upward mobility for minority-owned businesses in Massachusetts. This series, called “#LeadTheChange with Equity,” is being held in Gateway Cities and surrounding areas across the state. Each session is catered to a different audience based on target population demographics.
Established under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Commonwealth Corporation is a quasi-public agency that fosters workforce equity in Massachusetts by delivering innovative and collaborative professional development solutions that help diverse communities and employers succeed.
“The goal of these events is to highlight the importance of minority-owned businesses to our overall economy, because representation matters,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “When we share information and engage each other in conversations about equity and how to overcome challenges as a community, we all benefit. Through these roundtables, we hope to provide access to tools that will lead to business growth, increase diversity in workforce development, and encourage employers to apply for state funding through grants.”
“The minority-owned business sector plays a critical role in reducing the unemployment rate nationally,” said Christine Abrams, President & CEO of Commonwealth Corporation. “However, language and cultural barriers, technology gaps, and the lack of existing credit lines make it challenging for minority entrepreneurs to get the help and funds they need to keep their doors open and staff on payroll–and the situation is only getting worse. Job creation, innovation, economic parity, and productivity in the country will suffer with the loss of Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). As a result, CommCorp and our local partners are dedicated to aggressively addressing the constraints in place to ensure the short-term survival and long-term success of MBEs.”
These events convene business and community leaders to engage with a panel of experts sharing information related to business growth, workforce development, and access to state funding. After the panel, participants engage in a presentation of existing resources and a roundtable discussion on the barriers in place for minority communities and how both event participants and partners can help structurally and systemically remove them.
Josiane Martinez, CEO & Founder at Archipelago Strategies Group, is a speaker at two of the events geared toward Latinx Small Business Owners in Lawrence and Springfield. Martinez said, “Commonwealth Corporation is doing fantastic work to help minority-owned businesses across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts succeed and thrive by connecting them to available and beneficial resources. The roundtable events are a critical piece of the work because they bring business and community leaders together from a wide range of sectors so they can have conversations about doing work that can actually make a difference in the minority communities that most need our help. I am proud and honored to be a part of these events.”
Partners for this event series include Supplier Diversity Office, Association of Latino Professionals for America, Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, EforAll, Center for Women & Enterprise, Black and Brown Wall Street, Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Inc. (BECMA), WesternMass Economic Development Council, Black Owned Brockton and Amplify Latinx.
“We’re proud to be a partner for this important series,” said Bill McAvoy, Executive Director of the state’s Supplier Diversity Office (SDO). “At the SDO, we strive for fairness and equity for diverse and small businesses and in giving everyone a chance at success, and that is exactly what Lead The Change is all about.”
Upcoming events include LGBTQ+ Owned Business Roundtable, taking place Wednesday, October 26th, 3:00 p.m.– 4:30 p.m. at the MA LGBT Chamber of Commerce, 122 Pleasant Street, Suite 107, Easthampton; and Black-Owned Business Roundtable, Tuesday, October 18th, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Brockton Community Access, 1 North Main Street, Brockton.
To register for this event series, visit www.commcorp.org/mbrt.