NH SBDC has always been proud to support entrepreneurs and small business owners from every walk of life.
We provide the same great services to anyone that walks through our doors, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic status, age, religious or political beliefs. But, like many organizations, we know we can do more to have our services be welcoming and inclusive to all.
According to 2020 U.S. Census data, People of Color who previously made up 10% of the state now represent 14% of the Granite State’s population. The demographics of New Hampshire are changing, and SBDC wants to become more inclusive and a trusted resource for all NH entrepreneurs.
NH SBDC is taking long-term action through its Inclusivity Commitment. One way is by translating some of our materials into multiple languages. Here are examples of our postcards in Spanish, Indonesian, Portuguese, and Swahili.
Highlights of the Inclusivity Commitment
- More direct support for BIPOC small business owners through individualized business advising, education and resources to help them start or grow their businesses.
- Creation of authentic partnerships with community leaders, groups, and organizations to enhance communication and amplify SBDC’s outreach efforts.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) training for the NH SBDC team to help them understand cultural sensitivities, needs, and specific challenges of people of color businesses.
To develop a plan, NH SBDC worked with James McKim, president of the Manchester unit of the NAACP and managing partner of Organizational Ignition, LLC, to analyze NH SBDC’s current state and help create a path to a more inclusive future. After a series of focus groups and additional research, McKim made recommendations in his report that center around marketing and knowledge acquisition. “A focus on those areas will increase the reputation of the NH SBDC among people of color, help the organization assist more diverse businesses, and make the state a better place to live for all people.”
Liz Gray, SBDC state director, noted, “Our Inclusivity Commitment is in the early stages. Our approach is intentional and purposely collaborative because we know working together is the way we can all be more successful in reaching entrepreneurs of color. SBDC is fortunate to have received funding from the CARES Act and the NH Community Navigator program and therefore can put many of the Inclusivity Commitment recommendations into action."
Community Navigator Program
As a community-based partner in the NH Community Navigator program, SBDC is focusing on more effectively offering services to business owners of color. Its work focuses in the southern NH region where there is a higher percentage of diverse communities.
Long-time SBDC business advisor Andrea O’Brien is our lead Inclusivity Commitment advisor. She is focusing her expert, every day advising and education more deeply within New Hampshire’s communities of color. Several Community Liaisons, who worked with Kile Adumene, a well-known equity and racial justice consultant and community engagement practitioner, are focused on meeting BIPOC business owners and creating authentic partnerships and enhancing communication with community leaders, groups and organizations. By developing these connections, we are amplify SBDC’s outreach and becoming a true, trusted resource in NH’s diverse communities.
The BIPOC Hospitality Event was a great success with local small business hospitality owners joining together for a discussion led by James McKim of the Manchester NAACP. Thank you to all of the partners for helping put this important event together.
Our two Community Navigator liaisons, Rafael Calderon and Lidia Yen have been busy attending festivals and cultural events all over NH including in Somersworth, Nashua, Manchester, and Concord.
Partner & Client Quotes
“NH SBDC has assisted ICC in many ways. With regular meetings, SBDC provides advising services towards every ICC project by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of products, services, and events.”
- Raude Raychel
Read their Partner Profile here
"I was introduced to the NH SBDC by a neighboring restaurant. The SBDC helped my business not only financially but mentally. As a new business owner, I was extremely fortunate to have such support throughout my onboarding journey."
- Colleen Island Mateo
See their postcard here
“The SBDC has been our cheerleader and our biggest support. There are so many obstacles to overcome and so much you don’t know, the resources provided by the SBDC are essential to help you navigate them.”
- Jilan Hall-Johnson
Read their Client Story here