Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a newsletter alongside a roundup of Technical.ly’s best Delaware reporting from the week, job openings and more. Subscribe here to get updates on Delaware tech, business and innovation news in your inbox on Thursdays.
Ten Black-owned small businesses that became the first graduates of the Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce’s EnrichDelaware! Initiative.
Last week, following a networking breakfast at CSC Station, the cohort celebrated the culmination of the intensive bizdev program for which each graduate completed an actionable three-year growth plan. The program came to Delaware by way of DBCC President Ayanna Khan and partners Cornerstone West, Wilmington Alliance and Delaware SBDC.
“People of color have less access and collateral,” Khan said. “So while people of color start businesses at the same rates as their counterparts, there’s a vast disparity in profitability and size and survival rates. Programs to increase support for underserved populations are greatly needed in our community and in our state.”
Speaker and graduate Tyheshia Davis, founder of T. Nicole Solutions, praised instructor Brenné M. Shepperson and the program’s accessibility regardless of learning style.
“The tools were well planned out,” Davis said. “They really spoke to every modality of learning. So if you were a reader, there were articles and templates. If you weren’t a reader, there were modules that spoke to you.”
In addition to T. Nicole Solutions, the graduates are:
- Robert Drummond, Compassionate Angels Home Care
- Omar Harris, E2 Cigar Sports Bar
- Earl and Katherine Cooper, Everyone Can Achieve LLC
- Charmaine Quarles, Fit 4 Me Wellness LLC
- Jhalil Adams and Shinera DeCoursey, His and Hers Cleaning and Utility LLC
- Dr. Alice Stevens, Holistic Elevation LLC
- Khary DeWitt, Mountaineer Logistics
- Timothy Wells, Wells Building Maintenance & Tim’s Handyman Services
“The greatest lesson that I learned in this class is that I’m not alone,” Davis said. “I was surrounded with peers who knew more than me in certain areas, had different networks and experiences. I’m super grateful for being included in the inaugural EnrichDelaware! cohort.”
Turning our attention north, Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast returns for its 12th year May 6 through 14. Technical.ly’s big events are the Developers Conference on Tuesday, May 10, and our company-building conference, Introduced, on Thursday, May 12. Be sure to also check out the schedule of PTW community events if you’re interested in esports, the metaverse, and robotics and inclusion in tech. Most events are easily accessible by SEPTA from Wilmington and Newark.
Also in the news this week: University of Delaware and Waters Corporation officially opened Immerse Delaware, a new research laboratory on UD’s STAR Campus. The lab’s goal is to accelerate the development of biopharmaceuticals, which reportedly take 10 years to develop on average.
Upcoming Delaware events
- Jason and Joy Hunt, owners of specialty retail running store Elite Feet in Middletown, were named the Small Business Association’s 2022 Delaware Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year.
- Jennifer McMillan, owner of Delaware-based home decor and gift brand JennyGems in Harbeson, has been named the Small Business Association’s 2022 Delaware Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year.
- Delaware State University’s Dr. Kalpalatha Melmaiee, associate professor of plant breeding and molecular genetics in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has been selected by the US State Department to serve as a Fulbright Specialist this summer based on her proposal “Genomics of Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants.”
- Delaware Department of Technology and Information has two new additions: The former director and chair of the Delaware Economic Development Authority, Jordan Schulties, is the new chief of administration, and longtime telecommunications professional Tammy Shelton is the new broadband infrastructure grant program manager.