CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Compass, in collaboration with the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Community & Economic Development and Office of Economic Inclusion, African Professionals Network (APNET), and the Latina Entrepreneur Academy, were recently selected to participate in the Welcoming Economies (WE) Program through Welcoming America. This competitive program supports local leaders in advancing policies, programs, partnerships, and practices that include immigrants and refugees as part of local or regional economic strategies. Participation in the program will help efforts to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure existing and aspiring immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs thrive in the Cincinnati region.

“The City of Cincinnati Department of Community and Economic Development fully supports efforts to more effectively connect underserved businesses to small business resources in the area.  We are excited to participate in this program and look forward to uncovering new strategies to help small businesses grow.” Markiea Carter, Executive Director, City of Cincinnati – Department of Community and Economic Development.

“Participation in the WE Program will help us in our regional efforts to ensure immigrants and refugees are included in broader economic inclusion efforts and to ensure that existing immigrant and refugee business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can connect to culturally and linguistically appropriate resources that meet them where they are in the development or growth of their business.” Bryan Wright, Executive Director of Cincinnati Compass.

“It is an honor to participate in such a great program and to work on meaningful impact to our Hispanic and Immigrant community. I am looking forward to learning, collaborating but mostly on improving our support and resources for the community that we live in.” Karla Boldery, Founder and Executive Director of the Latina Entrepreneur Academy

 “This partnership offers APNET an opportunity to serve our members and allies in the African diaspora. By participating in the WE Program, we will further define our footprint in advancing small business and entrepreneurship.” Stella Bridges, Vice President of Finance of the African Professionals Network (APNET)

There are more than 5,000 immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs in the Cincinnati region from local restaurants and nail salons to tech start-ups and multinational software services companies contributing to the vibrant, regional economy.

The group will join four communities selected for the program. The participants were selected based on their demonstrated readiness and ability to spark meaningful change locally. Additional information may be found on Welcoming America’s website.

Press Release here.