Celebrating Success: Spokane Inclusive Business Catalyst Graduation Dinner

By Joey Gunning, Strategic Growth Manager, Greater Spokane Inc.

Saturday, July 29th was a momentous occasion as we celebrated the graduation of our first cohort of the Spokane Inclusive Business Catalyst (SIBC). The evening was filled with inspiration, hope, and a sense of accomplishment as we witnessed nine remarkable entrepreneurs of color successfully complete the accelerator program, thanks to our partnership with AHANA, Spokane’s Multi-Ethnic Business Association. Each of the nine graduates will be receiving a $5,000 check from GSI in the form of a matching grant, to help accelerate their business.

The SIBC was conceived with the vision of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within our local business community. AHANA’s dedication has been instrumental in creating a platform for entrepreneurs of color to access the resources, mentorship, and support necessary to thrive in today’s competitive market. As attendees shared their stories and remarks, it became evident that the program had made a profound impact not only on the business owners but also on the entire community.

The SIBC aligns well with our region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (THRIVE Spokane) goals of (1) creating vibrant and inclusive communities, and (2) devoting resources to and building capacity of an ecosystem of support by and for BIPOC business owners. By nurturing and supporting BIPOC business owners, we take a significant stride towards building an environment where every individual has an equal opportunity to flourish and contribute to the growth of our community.

At GSI, we firmly believe that diversity and inclusivity are essential pillars for a prosperous community. The SIBC is a shining example of how collaboration and inclusivity can drive economic growth while fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and supported. On behalf of the entire organization, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the graduates of the program. Your achievements have surpassed expectations, and your resilience and dedication are truly commendable. We are honored to have partnered with AHANA to play a part in your journey and are excited to see the heights you will reach in the future.

Thank you, AHANA, for your unwavering dedication to creating a more inclusive and vibrant business community. Your commitment to empowering entrepreneurs of color has left an indelible mark on the region’s economic development, and we are privileged to be part of this transformative journey.

Learn more about the graduation and SIBC.


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