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Navigating Entrepreneurial Perseverance and Success: Diana Villegas and Nova Driving School


Diana Villegas's entrepreneurial journey is a testament to perseverance, innovation, and a strong commitment to community impact. Founded by her parents in 2003, Nova Driving School has flourished under Diana's leadership, now boasting a fleet of 60 vehicles with advanced technology for driving education. Diana's resilience and work ethic, shaped by her mother's diverse business pursuits in Ecuador, drive her success. Nova Driving School stands out not only for its quality and safety but also for its dedication to making a positive impact on the community. Through partnerships and initiatives like donating to organizations and engaging with underprivileged communities, Nova has experienced significant growth. Participating in programs like the ICCC Latinx cohort has further enriched Diana's insights, emphasizing the importance of self-motivation and employee support. Nova Driving School's accolades, including the Inner City 100 award and Inc. 5000 recognition, showcase its remarkable success and commitment to community engagement. As Nova continues to grow, Diana's unwavering dedication to giving back remains a guiding force for the future. Read More


Conference Inspiration: Josue Velney of Velney Construction and Development


Steve Grossman, CEO of ICIC, shared an inspirational journey during the kickoff of ICIC’s Annual Conference in Miami on December 12, 2023. Josue Velney, CEO of Velney Development, LLC, a participant in the 2023 Boston ICCC cohort, is a former Marine turned real estate developer, who exemplifies ICIC's mission of fostering inclusive economic prosperity and job creation in under-resourced communities. Josue’s military background influences his leadership in real estate and the challenges he and other entrepreneurs navigate, including high interest rates and societal issues. ICIC's conference theme, "Reflect, Reunite, Renew," reflects Josue's commitment to community renewal. The collective strength and potential within under-resourced communities, highlighted through entrepreneurial journeys such as Josue’s inspire a shared vision of economic empowerment and sustainable growth. Read the full article to learn about Josue Velney's impactful role and resilience. Read More


Riveo Creative: A Journey of Growth, Purpose, and Positive Impact


Elin Barton's entrepreneurial journey with White Knight Productions, now rebranded as Riveo Creative, is a tale of resilience, growth, and purpose-driven impact. Faced with the challenge of expanding nationally in 2015, Elin turned to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, overcoming a setback with determination and completing the program. Years later, her pursuit of social impact led to a transformative experience with the ICCC program, inspiring a partnership between ICIC and Riveo Creative. Believing in the power of connections, Elin has fostered a community of entrepreneurs for nearly a decade. In 2023, Riveo Creative embraced a renewed purpose, aligning with ICIC's values of diversity and sustainability, and amplifying the voices of small businesses and communities. The journey continues as Riveo Creative takes intentional steps toward a future of exponential positive impact, celebrating shared success in community empowerment. Read More


ICIC’s Research: A Catalyst for Change in Diversifying Real Estate Development


ICIC's recent research has emerged as a catalyst for change in diversifying real estate development, shedding light on the stark underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic developers who collectively make up less than 1% of private developers nationwide. The groundbreaking report, "Breaking the Glass Bottleneck," quantifies this representation crisis and emphasizes the pivotal role of access to public and private resources for the growth of developers of color. The research has not only unveiled disparities but has also influenced policies and initiatives, including the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Emerging Developer Report, which identifies key opportunities and challenges faced by developers of color. As the industry grapples with challenges, ICIC's research stands as a guiding force toward positive transformation and equitable opportunities in real estate development. Read More


Navigating the Social Media Landscape: Insights from Industry Experts


ICIC offered alumni the opportunity to explore the dynamic realm of social media marketing through insights shared by industry leaders in a recent ICAN webinar. From tailored strategies on LinkedIn to the power of storytelling on Instagram, the speakers, including Dianne Austin, Buzz Busbee, and Leo Voloshin, cover diverse approaches. The webinar, moderated by Dina Towbin of Dina Towbin & Associates, highlights the importance of continuous learning, openness to new strategies, and the ever-present value of engaging with your audience in the ever-evolving landscape of social media marketing. Read More


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