Greater Louisville Inc. The Metro Chamber of Commerce
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November 10, 2023 9:57am

Greater Louisville Inc.’s Minority Business Accelerator Graduates Third Cohort

Louisville, KY. (November 10, 2023) Thirteen minority business owners graduated from Greater Louisville Inc.’s Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator presented by Papa Johns and Beam Suntory after completing the rigorous eight-month program. Graduates were honored last night at the Muhammad Ali Center with a ceremony and keynote fireside chat between Darrell Byers, CEO of Interise, and Dr. Ashley Anderson, the co-founder of Athena Health & Wellness and a 2022 graduate of the Power to Prosper Accelerator. The 13 graduates include:

  • Dawana Clarkson – D’Luxe Hair and Cuts
  • Adrian Franklin – Franklin Interior Systems, LLC
  • Jasmine Gatti – Fleur De Tea
  • Matthew Harrell Sr. – APK Development and Construction
  • Cassandra Harris-Gray – Creative Spirits Networks
  • Milann Miles – Echilann Images
  • Bhavna Patel – Subway
  • Carlos Patton – Cap Trucking LLC
  • Shaun Spencer – Trimen Solutions LLC
  • Oracious Thomas – First Impressions Computer Consulting
  • Aquia Ware – GMW Enterprises Inc./Marvelous Transportation
  • Nikki Webster – Chase Ur Dreamz
  • Adonna Wickliffe – Milestones

“GLI’s Power to Prosper Accelerator empowers minority-owned businesses with skills and connections to thrive in Greater Louisville. Since the program started two years ago, we’ve helped nearly three dozen businesses scale through access to new capital, business skills, and strategic connections,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO of GLI.  “I am proud of the achievements of our three classes of graduates and look forward to seeing their continued success in our region.”

Graduates completed a comprehensive program with 13 sessions grouped into four parts where they learned hands-on skills like finances, marketing, and growth. In order to graduate, each participant also completed a five-year growth plan using what they learned in the program and presented the plan to local business leaders.

“Being part of the third cohort of the Power to Prosper Accelerator has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The program has provided me with invaluable insights into successful scaling strategies and has connected me with a diverse network of fellow entrepreneurs. I truly believe that this program is a game-changer for business owners who are dedicated to investing their time and energy into growing their ventures,” said Bhavna Patel, owner of three Subway franchises in the region and valedictorian of the 2023 cohort.

The program is led by GLI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Department, Dana Johnson, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Dr. Eric Jordan, Manager of Diversity, and Inclusion Strategies. Miguel Hampton, CEO and consultant of F5 Enterprises, LLC, provides the program’s instruction. The content for the program is generated through a partnership with national consulting firm, Interise, and their award-winning StreetWise ‘MBA’™. The program is free of charge to all participants thanks to the generous sponsorship of GLI investors Papa Johns and Beam Suntory.

“It is extremely satisfying to watch each cohort graduate, and even more gratifying to see their many successes in the years that follow,” said Johnson. “Our goal is to not only teach skills but also leverage our business relationships as the regional chamber to help our participants get their foot in the door for their next big contract or partnership. I am looking forward to seeing the opportunities for each graduate to come and am thankful to all of the GLI investors who make this program possible.”

In addition to the graduation ceremony, the event also included a keynote fireside chat between Byers and Anderson about the importance and return on investment for corporations when working with minority-owned businesses. Both business leaders shared their experience as minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

To learn more about the Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator program presented by Papa Johns and Beam Suntory click here. The application process for the fourth cohort of the Power to Prosper MBA program is currently open.

About Greater Louisville Inc.

Greater Louisville Inc. is the Metro Chamber of Commerce and represents 15 counties in Kentucky and Indiana. GLI’s mission is to grow businesses and the regional economy. GLI supports businesses during every stage of development and represents the collective needs of the business community by advocating for pro-growth policies and economic development investment, and deploying programming centered around attracting and developing talent and economic inclusion. GLI is the 2019 National Chamber of the Year and is one of only three percent of chambers nationally certified with 5-star accreditation status by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Learn more on social media @GLIchamber or visit www.greaterlouisville.com.