February is all about celebrating diversity. The tech community in Raleigh has a long way to go in order to be truly inclusive but there are some organizations, events, and businesses making important strides.

Below we have gathered just some of the important events and resources that support entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. Some have a special focus on minority-led business owners. If you have corrections or additions to this list, please reach out to us and we will get those resources added into our blog. 

The Triangle DEI Alliance – The Triangle DEI Alliance is leading the effort to make the Triangle the most diverse, equitable, and inclusive business environment in the country. Supported by the chamber, the DEI Alliance is an incredible resource to learn about DEI events and initiatives. Each year they host a DEI conference. http://www.triangledei.org/

Carolina Small Business Development Fund – The Carolina Small Business Development Fund creates economic opportunities across North Carolina by connecting small business owners with funds.  https://carolinasmallbusiness.org/

Courageous Conversations – Courageous Conversations is a program of the Raleigh Chamber, and one of many events that explore diversity in business in our region and beyond. The next topic is Bias in Artificial Intelligence.  https://web.raleighchamber.org/events/

Black Business Momentum & Hispanic Business Momentum – Supported by Wake Tech’s Small Business Center, Raleigh Chamber, Carolina Small Business Development Fund, and Wake County ED, this series is for small business owners who want to enhance their networking skills and learn effective branding strategies. https://web.raleighchamber.org/events/BlackBusiness%20Momentum%20The%20Dos%20and%20Donts%20of%20Networking%20%20How%20to%20Build%20a%20Brand-2023/details

The Black Founders Exchange – Housed out of American Underground, the Black Founders Exchange is a collaboration with Google for Startups. Black Founders Exchange is a week-long immersion program in Durham, North Carolina for Black founders in the startup community. https://www.americanunderground.com/black-founders-exchange/

The State Black Tech Summit – Hear from leaders in tech and some of our personal fav’s like Doug Speight, Tivi Jones and more! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-state-of-black-tech-summit-tickets-87260162495

Black Dollar – Black Dollar is a growing, online directory for North Carolina Black Owned Businesses. If you want to support local and shop from minority owned businesses, or even list your own, this is a great resource.  https://www.blackdollar.ninja/

Diversity & HR Solutions – Run by Gracie Johnson-Lopez, Diversity & HR Solutions is a local consultation practice that helps companies connect with training and HR resources to create inclusive environments. They also host an annual D&I Conference.   https://diversityhrsolutions.com/

Helius Foundation – Over the course of ten weeks, the Helius foundation teaches entrepreneurs how to refine their product, how to reach customers, how to create financial tools for their businesses, and how to look for funding. By the end of these ten two-hour classes Helius entrepreneurs will have a working business plan and the skills and confidence needed to take their businesses to the next level. https://www.heliusnc.org/

Launch Wake – LaunchWakeCounty is a collaborative, community-based economic development program that is customized by town, community, or demographic. Using the popular LaunchMyCity model, LaunchWakeCounty has become a movement to nurture homegrown, primarily main street businesses. The program provides the four things that research indicates entrepreneurs need to succeed: Training, Mentoring, Networking, and Access to Capital. https://www.waketech.edu/programs-courses/non-credit/build-business/entrepreneurship-initiatives/launchwakecounty

The City of Raleigh’s Human Relations Commission (RHRC) – The RHRC advises the City Council in the area of human services and human rights. The Human Relations Commission works to promote human dignity, equal opportunity and harmony among Raleigh residents. https://raleighnc.gov/human-relations-commission

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at Shaw University–  The Center’s purpose is to: inspire, connect, encourage, and support startups, students and existing entrepreneurs. https://www.shawu.edu/InnovationCenter/

100 Black Men – The 100 Black Men of Triangle East, is devoted to improving the quality of life for African-Americans–particularly young males–through programs focusing on health and wellness, economic empowerment, mentoring, and education. https://www.100bmte.org/

TMT Youth Foundation -The TMT Youth Community Foundation operates to teach underprivileged youth entrepreneur skills. The primary focus of this organization is to provide disadvantaged youth with the tools of job creation. Participants will create high skill careers as well as high wage and high demand careers in North Carolina and our global economy.  http://www.tmtyouthcommunityfoundation.com/

* Some of the verbiage to describe these events and organizations were taken from the websites cited within. For corrections or additions to this list please email marketing@hq.community