We are excited to announce the formation of the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council, (NC BEC). Establishing the NC BEC to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations and economic potential of North Carolina’s Black community, further supports the Foundation’s previous commitment that no less than 50% of programmatic and funding resources be in service to underserved, under-resourced and underrepresented communities, notably minorities, women and rural constituencies.

“We are encouraged and humbled that our announcement of the Council drew an overwhelming response from accomplished individuals, affirming community support for this vital work,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “The Council will focus on economically empowering Black people with entrepreneurship, thereby combating economic inequality that perpetuates racial disparities,” Ruhe added.

The following twenty-five individuals are members of the inaugural North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council:

  • Nikita Allen, GROWMETIX (Charlotte)
  • Shannon Baylor-Henderson, Carolina Small Business Development Fund (Elizabeth City)
  • Katrece Boyd, Small Business and Technology Development Center (Raleigh)
  • Spencer Disher, Charlotte Angel Fund (Charlotte)
  • Jerry Edmonds, Vance-Granville Community College (Henderson)
  • Ijeoma Emeka, Bank of America (Charlotte)
  • Perry Harker, Carteret Community College (Beaufort)
  • Patricia Harris, UNC Chapel Hill, School of Education (Chapel Hill)
  • Mark Little, UNC Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill)
  • Tonya Lynch, The Black Light Project (Greenville)
  • Alyssa Martina, Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Elon)
  • Gerry McCants, McCants, LLC (Greensboro)
  • Dee McDougal, Pacific Western Bank (Durham)
  • Rosanna Mulcahy, City of Asheville-Office of Economic Development (Asheville)
  • Dana Newell, BentonNewell Communication (Greenville)
  • Kevin Price, NC Institute of Minority Economic Development (Durham)
  • Karl Ricanek, Lapetus Solutions Inc. (Wilmington)
  • Doug Speight, AnnexTech Partners (Greensboro)
  • Kristi Tally, KD7 Enterprises Inc. (Raleigh)
  • Terik Tidwell, Smith Tech-Innovation Center at Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte)
  • Iesha Usher, Smiile (Greensboro)
  • Desmond Wiggan, BatteryXchange (Charlotte)
  • Calvin Williams, Freeman Capital (Charlotte)
  • Natalie Williams, The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte (Charlotte)
  • Allan Younger, Forsyth Technical Community College (Winston-Salem)

Read the full announcement here.