Williamson, Inc.’s first Minority Business Academy was held on Wednesday, February 9.
The county chamber, in partnership with Visit Franklin and Urban Campus Core, conducted a study to assess the needs of minority businesses and professionals in Williamson County.
The results of this study highlighted five main areas of need: small business financing, marketing, human resources and staffing, legal and insurance, and technology.
“The Minority Business Academy is our response to the study findings,” said Anna Lisa Roberts, director of talent and workforce development at Williamson, Inc. “This series will feature local experts in who will discuss industry standards and share resources to support day-to-day business practices. We hope attendees leave feeling empowered and equipped to meet challenges with the new tools at their disposal.”
The academy is free for members. Chamber organizers hope this will be a step forward in setting up additional programs to support minority business leaders.
Celestia Ware, owner of Farmers Insurance – Ware Agency, took the February finance course.
“As a small business owner, today’s class was powerful,” she said. “The information shared regarding the Small Business Administration and banking and finance has been paramount in developing minority business owners. If you missed today’s meeting, you missed a session containing excellent information and resources available for your small business My office will be attending all sessions.
Through a series of surveys and focus groups with member companies, the chamber gathered extensive local information and then looked more broadly at data from federal and state responses.
One area identified was engagement in financial partnerships.
Williamson, Inc. management believes that a diversity of perspectives spurs innovation, inspires creativity, and encourages collaboration, but many companies still struggle to program to appeal to a diverse demographic. As the competition for talent continues to increase, employers should consider every opportunity to increase the depth and breadth of the pool of potential employees.
Williamson, Inc. strives to help employers identify programs and training to access talent by cultivating a culture of inclusion. The organization also works to identify model businesses in Williamson County that have strong inclusion and diversity programs to share best practices with economic investors.
The next event will be March 9 at the Power Room of Williamson, Inc. at 4031 Aspen Grove Drive, Suite 630, in Franklin. Parking will be at 4000 Rush St.
Those interested in learning more about the Minority Business Academy or becoming more involved with the Williamson County Chamber should visit www.williamsonchamber.com or email [email protected]