June 8, 2022 1:15pm
Greater Louisville Inc. hosts speed pitching event for minority-owned businesses
|Louisville, Ky. (June 8, 2022) – As part of its diversity, equity, and inclusion work, Greater Louisville Inc. hosted its inaugural speed pitching event, Breaking the Mold: Progress through Procurement. Over a four-hour span, 29 minority-owned businesses pitched their services and products to 12 GLI-investor corporations in hopes of securing their next contract.
“This event perfectly encapsulates the mission of all of our DE&I work at GLI – to help drive economic inclusion,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO of GLI. “Access to capital remains the largest barrier to growth for minority-owned businesses in our community, and this event is one way we are helping these businesses get their foot in the door for their next opportunity.”
During the event, GLI facilitated over 100 connections between the participants doing the pitching and the corporations being pitched. Through a speed-dating style format, minority business owners had 15-minute sessions with the procurement staff of large corporations to pitch their services, answer questions, and provide next steps for a potential relationship. All participating minority-owned businesses are currently in or have graduated from local incubators and accelerators including: GLI’s Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator, GEDDI’s Just Boss Up Academy, OneWest’s the Plan Room, Louisville Central Community Center’s Purpose Driven Developer Academy, and AMPED’s Russell Tech Incubator.
“Our community has an incredible number of incubators and accelerators that are teaching tangible business skills to help businesses at all stages of growth. This event is a next step for these companies who have learned the skills to grow, but need an introduction, assist, or door opened to make that sale that can help them move to the next level,” said Dana Johnson, GLI’s senior director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “We are thrilled to use our role as the chamber to convene and connect businesses of different sizes, demographics, and industries for potential mutually beneficial partnership opportunities.”
Ebony Campbell, founder, Nubian Newborns, pitches Curtis Monroe, director of purchasing, Louisville Regional Airport Authority
Some of the corporations participating in the event committed to increasing their diverse vendor spend through GLI’s Racial Equity Pledge. Breaking the Mold: Progress through Procurement created an opportunity for each of the 12 company’s procurement staff to expand their network of diverse-owned businesses. Participating companies include: RCF Group, Brown-Forman Corporation, Messer Construction, Louisville Metro Government, Republic Bank, Norton Healthcare, MSD, Baptist Health Systems, V-Soft Consulting, Louisville Water Company, Humana, and Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.
“Norton is committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable Greater Louisville community through diversifying our vendor spend. Participating in Breaking the Mold: Progress through Procurement gave us the opportunity to meet a number of great minority-owned businesses who presented us with opportunities for future partnerships,” said Anthony Mathis, director of energy for Norton Healthcare. “We applaud all the businesses who took part in this event and thank GLI for providing opportunities for their investors to connect with up-and-coming minority-owned businesses.”
GLI will host the pitching event semi-annually, with the next event scheduled for late 2022.