This App is Helping Black Entrepreneurs Get Access to Mentorship From Industry Leaders
A powerful and diverse network of 50 top executives are rallying behind a new platform and business community, the Suites. The Suites was founded by entrepreneur, investor and corporate finance attorney Shimite Obialo. While working in New York City for diverse tech companies and venture funds, Obialo recognized a void particularly for people of color in what she has coined the 3Cs of business building: connections, coaching and capital.
“Only 11% of the 8 million minority owned businesses in the United States have any paid employees, and this is not by choice,” said Obialo. “Businesses rarely can succeed in isolation and the likelihood of success grows when entrepreneurs are surrounded by a supportive community that provides key resources, such as mentorship, peer learning, strategic connections and funding opportunities, throughout the business life cycle.”
The founding community includes prominent investors like Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital, whose firm has invested in more than 175 startup companies led by “underestimated founders” and Morgan Simon, of Candide Group who in 2020 alone supported over $50M of investments into companies and funds, the majority led by women and people of color.
Global power brokers like Chris Lwanga, a senior executive at Microsoft, have also signed up to become “Council Members” in support of the Suites’ mission.
In addition, the company is attracting a growing roster of partnerships including: Insperity; AchieveNEXT; OneValley Passport; SoGal Foundation and Aux21 Capital.
Suites Members have access to:
- a mobile platform for intimate networking with high caliber executives
- curated events and investor mixers
- peer masterminds to exchange ideas to creatively tackle business challenges
- bespoke capital raising support
The Suites is disrupting existing business networks, some of which have been around for decades, but have failed to capture the needs of executives of color, and is delivering a new look at entrepreneurialism grounded in the fact that success is anchored by strong relationships.
Entrepreneurs and business executives looking to join a diverse community offering a deep bench of experienced leaders, vetted business experts, and strong capital relationships are encouraged to visit www.jointhesuites.com and apply for membership, to become one of the 150 Founding Members. Applications for Founding Membership will close in September.