Dr. Nika White, Founder of Nika White Consulting, Senior Advisor to Greenville Chamber of Commerce Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative

    The Greenville Chamber has a strong and long-lasting legacy of championing initiatives across the Greenville region to foster economic parity and community prosperity for all citizens. The Chamber has long-held the belief that such initiatives are not only the right thing to do, but that there is a business-case as well. Countless studies have found that diversity and inclusion leads to better business performance, better team collaboration and can even lead to better financial returns. The Greenville Chamber has several upcoming opportunities to engage in this meaningful work.

    One new initiative created by the Greenville Chamber, in partnership with United Way of Greenville County and Urban League of the Upstate, to foster such growth in Greenville County is the Greenville Racial Equity and Economic Mobility (REEM) Commission. The Commission grew from ongoing community conversations to identify and address systemic racial barriers in Greenville County. The group will work collaboratively with other community partners to develop systems-level, meaningful solutions.

    The Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) program is designed to strengthen and expand the regional minority entrepreneurial community. To accomplish this, MBA utilizes a two-pronged strategy: improving the readiness of local minority-business enterprises to serve as effective engines for economic development, and engaging the corporate community to more effectively utilize these firms through local supplier diversity efforts. Both actions are essential for improving the overall economic base in the Upstate. MBA participants undergo a rigorous yearlong business development program where they receive specialized training from business coaches, access to mentors, and access to large corporations for partnership opportunities. Recruitment for the 2021 MBA Cohort is currently underway. Learn more and apply at www.greenvillechamber.org/mba.

    The Chamber will also host the 4th Annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit on October 20th. The critical work of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion starts within – not only within our organizations – but within ourselves as individuals. With a theme of “Amplify the I,” this year’s Summit will feature renowned speakers from across the nation teaching strategies to focus on the internal aspects of DEI work so that we may achieve a greater and more positive impact. For the first time, this event will be held virtually, allowing greater access across the region. To learn more and register, visit www.greenvillechamber.org.