Laura: Hey David. I have some great news. Flywheel hired a new Program Manager to lead our Elevate Equity Accelerator. Her name is Latavia Walker. She has been running a student success program for first-generation college students in Dayton and she is also an Ed.D candidate with an emphasis in Social Justice.
David: That’s great news. Having someone leading that program who has both an academic background and lived experience will take Elevate Equity to the next level.
Laura: Exactly. We are already starting to talk to potential applicants for our 2023 Elevate Equity accelerator which will start in late February. This is our 8 week program for entrepreneurs with a startup business that directly or indirectly addresses the impact of systemic racism or gender bias.
David: We really respect that program here at Black Achievers. Not only is the startup programming really strong but the businesses in the cohort get some very dedicated coaches to support them.
Laura: I want you to meet Latavia. She has some ideas.
Latavia: David, I’m really glad Black Achievers is a partner of Flywheel. Economic Empowerment is something both of our organizations are working to address. Being able to network is critical.
David: I agree. What I like about Flywheel is that it’s an accelerator for people who not only want to do well for themselves but they want their businesses to create opportunities for others.
Latavia: That’s why I’m so enthusiastic about working at Flywheel. You know how it is when you start something new, there’s so much to learn. I’m looking forward to settling in and bringing some new perspective and support to the new Elevate Equity Cohort.
David: What kind of businesses do you look for in the Elevate Equity program?
Latavia: We work with social enterprises. They can be for-profit but they have to have an equity mission in some way. Often our founders already have a business started. Sometimes it’s a side hustle but they want to grow and scale it. For early stage founders who are still at the idea phase, we want to hear from them now. This is the time when we see if we can help them start some of their early research and customer validation so they have a strong application. Applications will open after the holiday break but we are happily talking to founders now.
David: I’m looking forward to getting to know you better and we’ll be working together to get the word out about Elevate Equity 2023. Before we go, tell me something about you?
Latavia: Some fun facts about myself are that I am a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated. I have a 4 year old rescue dog named Nylah Marie. In my spare time, I enjoy photography, traveling and spending time with family! My father is from West Africa (Liberia), having a parent from another country taught me early in life how to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures. I am super excited about bringing new ideas, building new relationships and strengthening the start-up ecosystem by supporting DEI initiatives at Flywheel!