FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2022
Bryan Kelley, Vice President of Events
Indiana Black Expo Expands Its Black Business Training Institute Cohort
To Serve 120 Business Owners In Central Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – In response to the demand for hands-on business management training, IBE is expanding its new Black Business Training Institute. The hands-on training program is adding 95 seats, now serving 120 business owners (rather than 25 as originally planned).
“Within 24 hours of announcing the initiative, IBE received over 60 applications. Within 72 hours, we received over 100 applications,” said IBE President & CEO Tanya Mckinzie. “Without putting much effort into promoting the initiative, this response indicates that multiple efforts are needed to provide adequate training, education and technical assistance to small businesses to help them properly navigate the ecosystem, enhance their business management skills, and access capital and opportunities that exist within our state. IBE looks forward to partnering with other Black-led organizations, including the Indianapolis Urban League, Innopower, and the Indianapolis Black Chamber as well as Mid-States Minority Supplier Development to ensure that these businesses receive the support that they need,” added Mckinzie.
IBE and the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center has partnered to engage Jean Poole, CEO and founder of E Cubed Performance LLC as a business advisor that will work with business owners in the first inaugural cohort as well as other businesses that might need assistance. Jean will be housed inside IBE’s headquarters on the eastside of Indianapolis.
“Over the past two years, the work the Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and IBE have done together to support the small business community has been powerful. Partnering to place an Indiana SBDC Advisor within IBE’s business programming is a natural extension of this work. We’ll immediately be able to tap into statewide and regional programs to offer better support to our community-based businesses,” said David Watkins, State Director of the Indiana SBDC.
The 10-week training sessions for the first cohort will begin on April 22, 2022. The sessions will focus on practical business skills that can immediately be applied by small Black business owners.
Next Thursday, April 7th, IBE will host all 120 business owners at a Welcome Reception and Orientation at its headquarters in celebration of the launch. “We realize how special this moment is for the 120 business owners that applied and were selected and it is important for us to celebrate them and encourage them to put every ounce of energy that they have into the development of their business,” said Alice Watson, IBE’s Sr. Vice President. “We are here to support them and help them grow their business,” added Watson.
Vop Osili, president of the Indianapolis City-County Council, will speak at the Welcome Reception and share pearls of wisdom with the first cohort. The media is welcome to attend the reception.
KeyBank is a key partner and funder of the initiative. Due to the increased costs to serve the participants in the program, IBE is looking for additional sponsors to support this work.
About Indiana Black Expo, Inc.
Indiana Black Expo, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) statewide organization with 12 chapter affiliates. The mission of IBE is to serve as an effective voice and vehicle for the social and economic advancement of African-Americans. IBE is known for its two major events, Summer Celebration and Circle City Classic® and provides year-round youth and family initiatives, including its Education Conference, recent Black Business Training Institute, Performing Arts Academy, Community Learning Hub, Education Day (college fair), Summer Internship Program, Scholarship Fund, Statewide Anti-Tobacco Initiative, Youth Leadership Summit, Employment Opportunity Fair, and Business Series and Conference.