The New Orleans Business Alliance, the city’s official economic development organization, has announced the first InvestNOLA program cohort. The cohort includes 13 entrepreneurs of color working to build their businesses to reach $10 million in revenue.
“The launch of this program and its inaugural cohort represents the first step in an overdue journey for the New Orleans business community and highlights incredible business owners who could further improve the trajectory of the city’s business climate,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance.
InvestNOLA is the local version of Ascend, a national program designed to fuel small business growth.
The program connects the cohort to procurement opportunities listed through the New Orleans Business Alliance’s Opportunities Portal. All 13 entrepreneurs in the program will also have the opportunity to participate in executive education program at both Tulane and Xavier Universities.
“With this cohort, we will put our commitment to creating an equitable New Orleans economy into action for businesses and business leaders,” said Tulane President Mike Fitts. “
Meet the 13 InvestNOLA entrepreneurs:
- Charles West: Square Button Consulting
- Marseyas Fernandez, Sr.: MSF Global
- Michelle Gobert: Image 360
- Jasminne Navarre: Rhodes Family of Businesses
- Alfonso Gonzalez II: Corporate Business Supplies
- Gretchen Chase: Chase Hospitality Group
- Krista Pouncy-Dyson: Performance First Digital
- Nathanael Scales: Garden Doctors
- Vern Keeler, Jr.: Vern Keeler & Associates
- Bernard H. Robertson III: Hackett Robertson Tobe Group
- Iam Christian Tucker: ILSI Engineering
- Otis Tucker: Trucking Innovation
- Hugh Blackwell: Blackstar Diversified Enterprises