The Institute Blog

The Latest News in Economic Development

IBM Impact Grant Boosts Strategic Marketing for The Institute

Photo of La-Tasha Best-Gaddy, Anita Hicks, and Dr. Bellandra Foster at a Strategic Marketing session with IBM on May 28

In May, an IBM marketing team was onsite at The Institute to assist in refining the overall Strategic Marketing plan and to identify additional key audiences and customers for The Institute’s fundraising efforts and programming initiatives.

For almost 30 years, The Institute has identified and addressed challenges in the economic pipeline for diverse businesses by structuring and facilitating programs that equip companies to do business better. Over the years, The Institute has established and promoted its Women’s Business Center, Minority Business Development Center, South Atlantic Transportation Resource Center, Public Allies, On-the-Job Training programs, and more. Now that reach has extended into advocacy, innovation, and policy through The Procurement Center, The Center of E, and The Policy Center.

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Frugal Innovation

Photo of cell phone being charged using energy harvested from pedaling a bike

Very few American companies start with unlimited resources and the ability to effortlessly launch innovative new products and services into the marketplace. On the contrary, most businesses—especially small or diverse firms—have to consistently stretch their dollars and make a little go a long way. In a society where cash is king, and capitalism is the kingdom, it often seems that only corporations with deep pockets and vast resources to fund research and development can explore innovative ideas and actually bring them to life.

In terms of “innovation,” what companies come to mind? Giants like Apple, which seem to revolutionize mobile technology on a continual basis; or conglomerates like Google that seek to develop more and more products to expand access to information top the list.

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The Institute to Help NCDOT Recruit On-The-Job Trainees

NCDOT On-the-Job Training logo

The Institute recently signed an agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to assist in recruiting minorities, women, and disadvantaged individuals to participate in the department’s On-the-Job (OJT) Training program. The goal of the program is to help move OJT trainees into journey-level positions to ensure that a competent workforce is available to meet highway construction hiring needs, and to address the historical under-representation of these groups in highway construction-skilled crafts. The team is led by Bellandra Foster, who has a Masters and a Ph.D. in civil engineering; and is nationally recognized for her work. Dr. Foster's team includes Assistant Director, Anita Hicks and Program Assistant, Erika King.

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The Institute Partners to Support the NC Black Summit

Photo of Farad Ali and Anthony Foxx

Institute President and CEO Farad Ali met with African-American elected officials from across the state of North Carolina at the 10th Annual NC Black Summit on April 23-24, 2015. The event is hosted annually by the Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials (ANCBEO) to discuss issues of importance to the African-American community such as economic development, voting rights, education, healthcare, and public safety.

The Institute has been a longstanding partner of the ANCBEO and was a Silver Level Sponsor for this year’s event. “The Institute has been one of our partners from the beginning. They are one several of our partners that help advance economic development in the community,” said ANCBEO Executive Director Courtney Crowder.

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Women’s Business Center Client ImmunoReagents Wins TBJ Life Sciences Award

ImmunoReagents Wins TBJ Life Sciences Award

“I think that North Carolina is a wonderful state to start a business and grow it,” said Dr. Ann Black, founder of ImmunoReagents Inc. and a client of The Institute’s Women’s Business Center. “There’s a great network here to maintain and expand. The people at the Women’s Business Center have a ton of business and industry knowledge, and they’re happy to put you in touch with other people who can help you – and they do all of these things for free.”

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The Institute ‘Springs Forward’ with Series of Successful Programs

ENC 2015 HBCU Forum panelists

For more than three decades, The Institute’s history, mission, and pursuit of excellence to continually raise the bar in creating opportunity and success for diverse communities and businesses have been evident. The recent activities of spring 2015 further exemplify The Institute’s commitment to build strong communities and support diverse businesses.

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Introducing...The Institute

institute vision

The Institute has been serving the business community, diverse businesses and Historically Black Colleges and Universities for nearly 30 years. As the organization prepares for its annual Executive Networking Conference (#ENC2015), The Institute is rolling out its new logo, new website, and new vision focused on economic prosperity for diverse populations. The new logo reflects a streamlined organization poised for growth and targeted toward effective policy, education and opportunities related to economic development.

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‘Diversity Explosion’ takes center stage at The Institute’s 2015 Executive Networking Conference, April 9-10

North Carolina Congressional Leaders Alma Adams and G.K. Butterfield to Speak on Panel

DURHAM, N.C. – This year's featured presenter for The Institute's 2015 Executive Networking Conference is Dr. William Frey, renowned demographer and author of the book "Diversity Explosion." The 2015 Executive Networking Conference will be held April 9-10 at the Raleigh Marriott City Center located at 500 Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, North Carolina. The event is sponsored by The Institute and the Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council. The conference theme is: "THE DIVERSITY EXPLOSION: Addressing Challenges and Building Diverse Business Opportunities". ENC welcomes minority business leaders, corporate executives, procurement managers, non-profit and higher education representatives, and government officials to join the conversation.

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The Institute’s Transportation Resource Center Helps DBEs Succeed

SBTRC Bonding Education Program Charlotte, NC

Transportation contracting is a $50 billion per year industry in the United States. Federal, state, and local governments—as well as airports and public transit systems—award contracts on an ongoing basis to expand and maintain the nation's transportation infrastructure. This investment is only expected to increase in the future given that the current level of transportation funding is insufficient to maintain and improve America's rapidly aging infrastructure.

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2015 Executive Networking Conference to Focus on the Diversity Explosion

William "Bill" Frey

For centuries, the United States of America has been heralded as a great "melting pot," using this moniker to symbolize the wide and varied range of races, nationalities and ethnicities that make up the American Diaspora. This present and accelerating reality creates both opportunities and challenges for minority businesses as our society progresses further into the millennium.

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