The Women’s Business Enterprise Council South recently received a $1 million federal grant to continue operating a center that promotes minority small business owners, particularly women entrepreneurs.

The grant will support the Enterprising Women of Color Business Center’s outreach and educational efforts for women-owned businesses.

New Orleans native Tiffany Carter will lead the efforts as the business center’s new director.

“I’m thrilled about the national engagement options of this new role in both public and private sectors,” Carter said. “Funding this program comes at such a critical time for many businesses owned by women of color. The strategies are different, the support needs are special and I’m excited to create an intentional model that can be shared in all marketplaces.

The WBEC South is a regional partner organization of the WBE National Council, serving women-owned businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle.

In her new role, Carter will leverage her experience as a procurement and small business contracting expert. She has amassed more than 20 years of experience working at the National Urban League, Louisiana Department of Transportation, United Way of Southeastern Louisiana, and the Regional Transit Authority and Sewerage and Water Board in New Orleans.

Carter is a former board member of CASA New Orleans/St. Bernard, an advisory board member of 1st Tee New Orleans and one of New Orleans CityBusiness 2015’s Top 50 Business Women. Most recently, she was director of procurement for the Port of New Orleans and New Orleans Public Belt Railroad.

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“My first role was supporting small businesses post-Katrina when marketplaces were uncertain, but we all needed to rebuild the region,” Carter said. “It was imperative that small businesses actively participated in rebuilding efforts. The opportunities to continue to support this targeted business sector has been a mission since then.”

Supporting the success of other women of color is among Carter’s top priorities.

“Minority women are the fastest growing population of entrepreneurs,” she said. “While many women are making tremendous strides in the business world, they still face obstacles as entrepreneurs. The vision of Enterprising Women of Color is to ensure women worldwide reach their economic potential.”

Carter will lead efforts to increase contract values, capacity building and workforce development.

“Our plans are to create strategic partnerships with stakeholders in all business sectors,” she said. “We need to best understand their vendor needs to enable us to identify, coach and connect women-owned businesses to those direct opportunities.”

The organization has several upcoming networking events for summer and fall. For information and a complete schedule of events, visit the website at https://wbecsouth.org/.

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