black-owned business
Economic Development

Ernst & Young Announces Inaugural NJ Black and Latinx Entrepreneur Cohort

The Entrepreneurs Access Network will support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in New Jersey to further grow their businesses and reinvest in their communities.

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) announces the inaugural cohort of the Entrepreneurs Access Network (EAN), a business accelerator and comprehensive, executive-level educational program designed to elevate scalable Black- and Latinx-owned companies through access to mentors, resources and networks. EAN offers a curated class-based learning program for emerging and established enterprises; an on-demand option with self-paced education is available to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs of all levels nationwide.

The inaugural cohort includes entrepreneurs across the US. The entrepreneurs from New Jersey come from the following companies:

  • BKW Transformation Group
  • DGX Security
  • EJE Travel Retail
  • Fitness Compulsion
  • Fria, LLC
  • Fusionworks Americas
  • InCharged
  • Custom Design Innovations LLC
  • Diverse & Engaged
  • Lotus Connect LLC
  • Mr. Cory’s Cookies
  • Pawtanicals LLC
  • Qunnections Management Group,LLC
  • RoboBurger Inc.
  • Senor Sangria
  • Stealth Bros & Co.
  • Technology Concepts Group International
  • Tene Nicole, Marketing and Public Relations
  • US Fresh Corporation

“Nearly one in three small businesses in New Jersey is minority-owned. The economic impact of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs is significant, but they don’t receive the support needed to grow and scale,” says Anthony Sgammato, EY Iselin office managing partner. “We are thrilled to be welcoming these New Jersey-based entrepreneurs to the inaugural New Jersey curated program cohort. Our team, led by our NJ EAN Champion Jackie Taylor, is ready to provide these innovators with the resources, knowledge and connections they need to realize their ambitions.”

Approximately 1% of venture capital dollars go to Black and Latinx founders, despite the fact that minority-owned businesses produced approximately US$700b in revenue in 2019 alone. These figures illustrate the vast opportunity cost of not supporting these underserved entrepreneurs.

“Minority entrepreneurs receive so little support, even though they show immense revenue potential. But closing this gap requires more than capital alone,” said Nit Reeder, EY Entrepreneurs Access Network program director. “EAN is not a ‘fund and forget’ program. Our curriculum provides tools and access to an ecosystem.”

EAN’s 12-month curated program includes a company assessment, alignment with a dedicated EY relationship advisor, and a customized learning plan based on the needs and maturity of the company. Participants receive both tangible and intangible guidance, such as guidance in digital transformation, support in upskilling employees, and help developing boards and expanding professional networks.

Black and Latinx business owners who applied for the curated program were evaluated based on certain criteria and placed within “Emerging” and “OnDemand” categories. Starting today, Black and Latinx entrepreneurs at all revenue, ownership and operational maturity levels can access the EAN resource library, an online resource offering self-paced learning.

Reeder added: “EAN builds on our organization’s current entrepreneurial programs, including 34 years of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ and 12 years of Entrepreneurial Winning Women. As we look to the year ahead, it’s more important than ever to support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, linking them to the resources they need to thrive.”

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