Inaugural Class Graduates from the Spokane Inclusive Business Catalyst

Greater Spokane Inc. (GSI), in partnership with AHANA, the region’s Multi-Ethnic Business Association, proudly announces the successful graduation of its inaugural Spokane Inclusive Business Catalyst (SIBC) cohort, marking a significant milestone in the advancement of underrepresented businesses. This accelerator program, specifically designed to empower small business owners from diverse backgrounds, has provided a transformative experience to nine dedicated entrepreneurs, each a person of color.

Throughout the month of July, the inaugural cohort of SIBC participants embarked on a rigorous and enriching journey, attending a series of classes and workshops tailored to bolster their skills, expand their networks, and foster growth for their enterprises. The program’s inclusive approach aimed to address unique challenges faced by business owners of color and empower them with the necessary tools to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

“AHANA’s collaboration with GSI is pivotal to the growth and success of multiethnic businesses in the Inland Northwest. When our businesses flourish we give hope to our community. The topics addressed in this cohort are quite expansive and the opportunities to learn from each other and the presenters are peerless. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with GSI for all our businesses to grow.” – Francis Adewale, attorney and board president of Multiethnic Business Association – AHANA.

The success of the inaugural class has already inspired a growing interest in future SIBC cohorts, with local community leaders and organizations expressing their support for the program’s expansion. GSI remains committed to making a lasting impact on the entrepreneurial landscape by fostering an inclusive and equitable environment for underrepresented business owners.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the remarkable achievements of these nine exceptional business owners,” said Alisha Benson, CEO of GSI. “The dedication, resilience, and passion demonstrated by each participant throughout the program have been truly inspiring. At GSI, we firmly believe that fostering diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship is essential for building a stronger and more vibrant local economy. We are grateful for our partnership with AHANA and look forward to continuing to work with them moving forward.”

The graduation was held on Saturday, July 29, to honor participants for their hard work and determination. The graduation also provided an opportunity for the graduates to showcase their progress, share their experiences, and connect with mentors, investors, and other business leaders from the community.

To learn more, contact Joey Gunning, Strategic Growth Manager, Greater Spokane Inc. at


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