Emerging Entrepreneur Program
A program of BUF-OR's Community Justice & Equity Department
The Emerging Entrepreneur Program (EEP) is a transformative initiative designed to empower and uplift Black and BIPOC entrepreneurs, enabling them to thrive and succeed in their business endeavors. This comprehensive 9-month program offers personalized attention, specialized expertise, and essential resources to a select cohort of 4 driven and ambitious entrepreneurs.
The primary goal of the EEP is to accelerate the knowledge acquisition and practical application of the participants while providing crucial capital support to propel their businesses to new heights. By focusing on the unique needs of Black and BIPOC business owners, the program aims to create a more equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial landscape. Our definition of an ‘Emerging Entrepreneur’ is an entrepreneur whose been in business for no more than 5 years. Throughout the program, participants will receive a stipend totaling $8,000 and benefit from invaluable business consulting services offered by Morant McLeod and a distinguished Board of Advisors.
The EEP represents BUF-OR’s expanded and improved commitment to fostering a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, promoting economic empowerment, and driving long-term success for Black and BIPOC entrepreneurs. By providing a nurturing and supportive environment, the program endeavors to create lasting impacts on the participants’ businesses, communities, and beyond.
The program is structured into three key stages:
- An Entrepreneur whose current business is less than 5 years old.
- An Entrepreneur whose business is incorporated with an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp status.
- An Entrepreneur who is ready to scale their business.
- An Entrepreneur who is hungry for constructive information and accountability from successful entrepreneurs.
- Resides in the state of Oregon or Clark County Washington.
- Commitment to approximately 9 months of receiving monthly consultation with up to 5 Business Advisors, bi-weekly meetings with the CJE Manager, and 6-8 hours of weekly independent learning/business plan work. (Meetings are virtual)
- Assist in planning and recruitment of quarterly Entrepreneur Strategy Sessions (in-person event).
- Entrepreneurs must be willing to conduct a public presentation of their business progress, in Q2 2024.
2022-2023 Emerging Entrepreneur Program Recipient: Nicole Rose
Nicole Rose is the founder of Ella Dean; she was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and attended Portland State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. Ella Dean is a natural haircare brand for men and women with textured hair. Our products are made with organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs that aid in hair growth and reduce scalp inflammation and hair loss.
The Ella Dean products are currently in seven local stores (Drink Mamey, Mid-K Beauty Supply, Coral Story Beauty, SymbiOp Garden Shop, Hair Goals by JD, and Be Smooth). Nicole and the Ella Dean brand have been featured in media outlets such as Portland Monthly, The Oregonian, BeautyMatter, Thirteen Lune, KGW, KPTV, and KOIN. Also, in March of this year her best-selling hair oil “Look, But Don’t Touch” was included in the 2022 Grammy Award Gift Baskets.
2022-2023 Emerging Entrepreneurs Program Board of Advisors
Wilson Nitunga, MBA, Co-founder Of Simple X And WK Social
Wilson is a Business Faculty at Portland Community College, and co-founder of Simple X and WK Social. This social agency offers omni-channel marketing with a particular focus on Social Media Advertising.
Ben Harris, Owner of Numberman LLC
Ben Harris was born and raised in Portland. He attended Benson High School and received his BS in Accounting from Portland State University. He is the owner of Numberman LLC, a NE Portland accounting firm specializing in income tax preparation and consulting for businesses and individuals. The company was founded in 2014.
Fayanna Johnson MSW, LCSW, Founder and Owner of Anchor Within Counseling
Fayanna Johnson is the founder and owner of Anchor Within Counseling (AWC). AWC is a multi-cultural-focused practice that prioritizes the care of racial and ethnic minorities. Fayanna grew up in Portland. She attended Portland State University and North Carolina Central University as an undergrad. In 2009, she graduated with honors, with a Bachelors of Arts, dually focused on Child & Family and Black Studies. In 2015 she attended graduate school and obtained a Masters in Social Work degree.