I’m here to talk to you about my organization, what we do and how we do it.
So, I’ll spend the next half hour or so sharing with you about the Michiana African American Chamber of Commerce. I’ll tell you who we are, what our goals are, what we’ve accomplished to date and share what we see as next steps.
The Michiana African American Chamber of Commerce (MAACC)is an economic development organization that provides resources, training, development and opportunities for businesses. The focus is on assisting individual businesses develop, grow and become more profitable. While the business development solutions provided by MAACC come from and through the African American Community, they are solutions that apply to and benefit the entire community.
The fact that the organization is named the African American Chamber gives the immediate impression that it is only for African Americans. This provides a branding challenge, but is strategic, and core to the business strategy. The data show that a growing amount of money is being spent on reinforcing the image of African Americans being associated with negatives like crime, entitlement, less-than, etc. That makes it very hard to grow and develop as a business. The same data show that the same is true, to a lesser degree with any business designated at a MBE, DBE, WBE … programs of entitlement, providing an unfair advantage over majority businesses… So, the solutions we develop for the African American business community, will be the same solutions that apply to ALL communities. And we specifically inject a positive image to combat the increasingly negative image all of these dollars are being used to reinforce. MAACCs goals are to develop community based businesses, help them become more profitable and to become self sustaining. We help them set goals for membership, sponsorships and programming. These are steps each business must take.
Last year The Summers Group asked the community to embrace a program called the Dignity and Respect Campaign. It identifies 30 tips that can be used to create a healthier, more inclusive community. While asking others to get engaged, we looked at what we could do. Of the 30 tips, several were clearly in our wheelhouse. #6 reinvent the wheel, #10 Be a relationship Builder, #22 Lead the Way, #26 Get involved, #29 Lend a Hand and #30 Be a champion of Dignity and Respect. Agreeing to take over Operations Management for the Michiana African American Chamber helps us address those 6 tips and more. By helping to develop these businesses, we are attempting to provide an example of how we can bring the principles of dignity and respect to our community, encourage intentional inclusion and help revitalize our communities through entrepreneurship.
This year the South Bend Rotary Club has taken up the mission and is adding their powerful voice to challenge our community to treat one another with dignity and respect.
Not a big request. Just to practice 30 little tips like smile, say hello, be considerate… get involved. But it’s the little things, the small stuff that will strengthen our community.
And it’s the small businesses, the small organizations that jump start an economy. So We’ve identified goals we believe to be fundamental to developing healthy community based businesses. Training – Providing our members with effective business development training, access to resources and growth strategies Opportunities – Connecting our members to profitable opportunities Programming - Providing programming that benefits not just our members, but also our sponsors and the community overall Self sustaining – We’re creating a financially self sustaining organization because if we are teaching entrepreneurship…. We should be entrepreneurial Collaboration – And by collaborating with other community organizations with similar community revitalization goals we will strengthen our entire community and inspire synergistic and exponential growth.
Since 2005 The Summers Group has identified assessment tools and methods to determine the true capabilities of member businesses. We have access to workshops and mentors to help close the identified skills and knowledge gaps. Through Collaborations with the SCORE, the SBA, National College and others we provide access to the information and resources our businesses need.
In collaboration with the City of South Bend, WorkOne, and local businesses and organizations MAACC works with businesses to connect to opportunities.
We’ve developed programming that provides specific benefit to member companies to help them move along a strategic path to growth and development. Programs like: Access to Interns and Human resources Veteran Business Development Program Quick Books training Community Outreach/Supplier Diversity Program support Clear Program Investment ROI Metrics High Value Minority Business Pipeline Community Revitalization Best Practices Are just the start. And as members share information on what they need, we’ll develop more.
MAACC’s business model calls for it to become a self sustaining organization. That is to say, MAACC does not want to be dependent upon government support and taxpayer dollars. Our plans call for funding coming from memberships, sponsorships, the workshops we’ll provide, awards events acknowledging the success and progress of our businesses and publications that keep us all informed about economic conditions in our currently under served but emerging and growing communities.
We’ve already found willing, helpful and supportive partners in the community to help us on our way. These are just a few of them and it’s our hope that this list will continue to grow and grow.
In the last year we’ve already accomplished a lot with very, very few resources. And we’ve only just begun.
We’re excited about what we’re doing… the path we’ve chosen. We choose to revitalize our community through entrepreneurship. MAACC chooses to be a resource that encourages collaboration and teaches intentional inclusion. We choose to join the voices that remind us all that this is a diverse community in which EVERYONE can add value. We choose to work with organizations like the South Bend Rotary to show that this is a community that treats everyone with Dignity and Respect and we are about the business of making the world a better place.
Michiana African American Chamber of Commerce August 2014 community update
Michiana African American
Chamber of Commerce
I. Who We Are
II. Our Goals
III. Our Accomplishments
IV. Next Steps
Who We Are
Who We Are
• The Michiana African American
Chamber of Commerce (MAACC)
• Business Solutions coming from the
African American Community for the
benefit of the ENTIRE community
Who We Are
The Branding Challenge
• Counter Negative publicity
• Reinforce Positive contributions
Minority Business Enterprises
Women Business Enterprises
• Provide members effective business development
training, resources and growth strategies
• Connect members to profitable opportunities
• Provide programming that benefits members,
sponsors and the community overall
• Create a financially self sustaining organization
• Collaborate with other community
organizations with similar community
Training and development
– Assessment tools to determine current level of capability
– Over 100 workshops designed to close capability gaps
– Evaluation methods to ensure knowledge transfer
– Access to professional mentors to provide support
– Continuous learning through most current business
education publisher, professional organizations and
Connection to opportunities
– Access to a network of businesses looking to buy services
from community based businesses with the specific goal of
strengthening the community.
– Access to a network of businesses with supplier diversity
strategies designed to help MBE, WBE and DBE businesses
– Bidding process support to improve the probability of
successfully winning bids
– Training and support to pivot to new trends
– Access to Interns and Human resources
– Veteran Business Development Program
– Quick Books training
– Community Outreach/Supplier Diversity Program support
– Clear Program Investment ROI Metrics
– High Value Minority Business Pipeline
– Community Revitalization Best Practices
– City of South Bend
– South Bend NAACP
– 100 Black Men
– Ft Wayne Urban League
– St. Joe Chamber
– Warsaw/Kosciusko Chamber
– Ministerial Alliance
– More …
– Greentown Michiana
– The Beacon
– National College Internship Program
– Net Zero Housing/Building strategy
– Michiana Goodwill Granite Recycling Program
– Angel’s Wings Transportation
– Veteran Business Committee
– Education/Youth Entrepreneur Committee
– UWW Innovation Center Tour
– Diversity Utilization Board