Delta State Program Provides Resources for Women of Color
When the Women’s Minority Business Development Center (WMBDC) was launched at Delta State University a year and a half ago, with the help of a $1.5 million grant from the WK Kellogg Foundation, the intention was to help 75 people of color. was to provide technology and business to women in Plan development assistance. Instead, as of February, the program is helping her 313 minority businesswomen in her 10 counties in Delta.
“We have served more than four times the number of women envisioned in the original proposal,” says Gene Finley, WMBDC Project Director. “In addition to that business plan and development assistance, we set up about 14 financial interview preparation sessions with lenders. They conducted financial preparation, planning, and mock interviews with women from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, asking 75 women to go through the process. , helped me gain the skills and confidence to secure information about the process of requesting a loan.”
Cleveland’s WMBDC is Mississippi’s only program dedicated to helping minority women of color small business owners. This program is sponsored by the College of Business and Aviation at Delta State University. Finley said women of color were targeted because, unfortunately, they tend to have little or no access to the capital to run their own businesses successfully.
Another significant program introduced was the Federal Procurement Contract Advisory Program, where 24 women received one-on-one assistance with procurement and federal contract planning. Federal contracts are reserved for business opportunities for women and minorities.
“They were assisted with enrollment in the federal contractor database and assisted with procurement applications,” says Finley. “We have also launched a free financial literacy program for those who feel they need financial literacy training as individuals or as business owners. The program can reach up to 25 female clients. We are really proud of it.Many businesses fail because people don’t know how to handle their personal finances and it is passed on to businesses. That’s what the research has revealed.”
Another part of the effort that Finley is particularly proud of is that the six women surveyed met the incubator’s client criteria. Located within designated service areas, incubators are designed to help entrepreneurs run successful businesses from their home or office.
“We made a deal with a local organization to provide a business incubator for six women,” says Finley. “Business incubators allow multiple new start-ups or expanding businesses to share resources with limited capital expenditure and provide common area services, free internet, secretarial services, meeting rooms, and free audio and visual services. In addition, free technical support will be provided for the duration of your stay in the incubator.” Finley said the greatest distinctive strength that minority women bring is their tenacity in attacking business plans and launching businesses. say.
“There is a desire to be successful,” says Finley. “We are very proud of them.”
Finley expects significant benefits from the program, including job creation, increased business starts, and local and state income made possible by these women-owned businesses. Second, be a role model for other women looking to start their own businesses. And finally, access to financial institutions and federal procurement opportunities that help women-owned businesses create jobs and benefit entire communities.
Mississippi SBA District Director Janita R. Stewart said: “SBA operates two women’s business centers in Mississippi, hosted by two major universities, Alcorn State University and Jackson State University, both historically black. Established companies and becoming business owners: With the birth of WMBDC focused on minority women entrepreneurs, we are working with Delta State University with the common purpose of helping these women realize their dreams. I look forward to what I can do.”
One of the incubator startups is V83 Boutique. Owner Vicky Murphy says her niche specializes in casual, versatile clothing for working women.
“It can be worn multiple ways,” says Murphy. “You can wear it to work, lunch, dinner, or an event. Just wash it and hang it up.No need to send it to the dry cleaners.I am blessed with this opportunity.Now I am working full time as a social worker.My passion is to have my own boutique and run it. It’s something you do full-time.”
Murphy says the women at the incubator have a very good network to support each other.
“We’ve done various events together, and in the future we plan to get together to let people know we’re inside the Atrium,” Murphy says. “We want the community to know we are here.”
Joyce Roundtree-McCoy says she is very thankful to God for the WMBDC team. Since she started Just the Right Motivation Consulting, LLC (JRM Consulting) in December 2015, she has never made plans for her business. Her counselor, Kennish Coleman, talked about how important a business plan is to success.
Roundtree-McCoy said: “Then they offered workshops and helped her, Shatelika Moore, Leslie Cartlidge and Gene Finley understand the process better. Thanks to them, it is now an effective business. Finley also introduced me to a program where I could win a free website designed for me.I didn’t know anything about launching a homepage, so I applied right away. Today, I am thrilled to say that I have a well-designed website.”
The incubator program provided temporary offices free of charge. Her home her office needed to work and without this temporary her office she could not maintain her contractual work.
“JRM Consulting believes that accurate information and ‘good motives’ are all that an individual or organization needs to be successful,” says Roundtree-McCoy. “We coordinate grant activities, educational workshops, workshop/training development, grant writing assistance, and in-service training development based on their needs, goals, staff development, and staff retreats, etc. We help them to be successful by providing the services of, and purpose to further succeed in meeting the needs of our clients thanks to the many effective training and counseling sessions we are currently undergoing. looking forward to it.”
For more information on MWBDC, please visit www.deltastate.edu/wmbdc.