Free program helps entrepreneurs start a new business – WSOC TV

CHARLOTTE – Nikki Pounds’ human resources company unequivocally thrives after finding a lifeline in the National Institute for Minority Economic Development.

“In March 2020, the world changed with the pandemic and I had to figure out what I was going to do next,” Pounds said. “Because I lost all of the corporate clients I had, but I wasn’t going to give up.”

Pounds learned to navigate finances, legal requirements, and more through the Institute’s Women’s Business Center and Gamechangers program.

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“How to properly set up your business entity,” Pounds said. “Understand what it takes to become a small business, a minority business, a female business. What is the city, what resources it takes to obtain these certifications.

In a new movement, the Institute’s programs will now all be available under one roof at UNC Charlotte inside the Portal Building, including its community development financial institution.

“So out of 2,000 CDFIs nationwide, we have five African American-led CDFIs in North Carolina – five, that’s it,” said Kevin J. Price, CEO of the Institute. “And one of them will be on the UNC Charlotte campus.”

Price has a message for those with entrepreneurial aspirations.

“We can support businesses from the design phase to scale and everything in between,” Price said. “We are available to help them and we can put them in touch with companies willing to buy their products. We can help them with their business plan, and we can also help them identify capital for growth.


Pounds said it made all the difference, doubling the growth of his business this year, and the biggest plus is that the program has cost him nothing.

“And it’s all free, which is amazing, which is why I say pay it forward,” Pounds said. “After you’ve grown your business, pay it up front and find out what you can do for them as well. “

(Watch the video below: Target to spend over $ 2 billion with black-owned businesses by 2025)

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