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ICIC Joins Forces with Local Leaders in Boston’s Supplier Diversity Compact for Economic Growth


On October 30, 2023, Mayor Wu and eight local economic development leaders, including ICIC, signed the Compact to Build Local Economic Growth, marking a groundbreaking initiative for Boston's economic development. This transformative compact signifies the City of Boston's commitment, in collaboration with partners like ICIC, to elevate awareness, engagement, and opportunities for local minority-owned enterprises, woman-led businesses, veteran-owned businesses, and LGBTQ+-owned businesses. Beyond business transactions, the Compact underscores the profound community benefits of supplier diversity, emphasizing economic resilience, empowerment, and the creation of a more inclusive and thriving environment. The Compact's strategic principles, ranging from awareness and certification to engagement, policy, and transparency, set the stage for a future where diverse businesses contribute significantly to Boston's economic growth. ICIC, proud to be among the participating organizations, reinforces our dedication to fostering economic growth, creating generational wealth, and offering opportunities for local businesses. As the City and its partners implement the outlined principles, a more inclusive, diverse, and economically vibrant future is on the horizon. Read More


NMSDC Conference: Fostering Diversity, Celebrating Success, and Advocating for Change


At the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) conference in Baltimore, ICIC engaged with industry leaders, celebrated successes, and advocated for transformative change in supplier diversity. The research team presented on "Advancing Racial Equity in America’s New Industrial Transformation," focusing on bridging representation gaps for Black and Hispanic manufacturers in major supply chains. Notably, Pam Nelson, CEO of Bracane Company, Inc., an ICIC alum, was celebrated as the Supplier of the Year, highlighting her dedication. The conference showcased ICIC's collaborative efforts in developing Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and fostering an inclusive economy, emphasizing the commitment to #closetheequitygap. In expressing gratitude to supporters, ICIC emphasized that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are integral values driving their mission forward. The conference underscored ICIC's dedication to positive change, from empowering entrepreneurs to advocating for racial equity and fostering economic growth and empowerment. Read More


ICAN Steering Committees: How Alumni Entrepreneurs Are Driving Inclusive Growth and Community Empowerment


ICAN, a testament to the success of supporting businesses in underserved communities, exemplifies the transformative impact of ICIC. Quentella Enty and T.J. Douglas, alumni of various ICIC programs, now serve as ICAN steering committee members - expert advisors, mentors, and collaborators for businesses needing additional support to thrive in today's dynamic economic landscape. Enty, Vice President of KFA Inc. and member of ICAN’s Chicago Steering Committee, emphasizes the importance of scaling businesses that are the backbone of the American economy, creating jobs, and advocating for communities. Douglas, founder of The Urban Grape and member of the Boston ICAN Steering Committee, shares his journey of building a successful retail and e-commerce enterprise, leveraging ICIC programs like Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC). Both Enty and Douglas actively contribute to ICAN, fostering a network of empowered business leaders facing similar challenges and promoting inclusive economic growth and community empowerment. Read More


Empowering Canadian Entrepreneurs: The Impact of Pizza Hut’s Equal Slice Program


Pizza Hut Canada, in collaboration with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), is making significant strides in empowering Canadian entrepreneurs through the Equal Slice Program. As a part of YUM’s Unlocking Opportunity Initiative, this partnership offers free education, mentorship, and grants to small business owners from underrepresented communities across Canada through the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program. The Equal Slice Program allows participants to compete for $20,000 CAD grants aimed at fueling the growth and scalability of their businesses. Pizza Hut Canada's General Manager, Lauren Leahy, emphasizes the commitment to providing access to capital, coaching, and education through this initiative, fostering an ecosystem of fair opportunities. The program's impact is evident in the success stories of 2022 grant recipients, including Carolyn Simon of Choose Life Foods, Tique Chandler of Chandler Honey, Dodie Ellenbogen of County Bounty Artisanal Soda Co., Susan Keast of Resources Ink, and Danielle Murrell Cox of Zuri & Dre. In collaboration with ICIC, Pizza Hut Canada continues to be a driving force behind the growth and resilience of small businesses, embodying a shared vision for inclusive economic growth and community empowerment. Read More


Catalyzing Communities: The Role of Anchor Institutions in Building Inclusive Economies for Health Equity


ICIC attended the recent Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) gathering in Los Angeles, focused on building health equity through inclusive local economies.  Anchor institutions play a critical role in cultivating health equity through inclusive local economies. Small businesses emerge as key players in narrowing the racial wealth gap and driving job creation. The fundamental importance of community partnerships and trust-building with grassroots organizations forms a dynamic "virtuous circle." This interconnected network involves community residents, small businesses, non-profits, technical assistance providers, capital facilitators, and anchor institutions. Successfully navigating this complexity demands skills like listening, patience, and a sustained commitment. Challenges include reconciling cost-sensitive anchor procurement with the imperative of supplier diversity for lasting local impact. Anchor institutions, with substantial purchasing power, stand out as pivotal, urging the need to unlock their potential beyond current limits. Capacity building and innovative supply chain financing strategies take center stage, emphasizing a focus on long-term positive change. Ultimately, anchor institutions can serve as catalysts for profound and sustainable community change, underscoring the importance of a commitment to a long-term journey. Read More


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