The Salt Lake Chamber and Women’s Business Center of Utah (WBCUtah) concluded the inaugural cohort of their Diverse-Owned Business Accelerator. The seven-week cohort program, sponsored by Bank of America, was designed for diverse small business owners to enhance skills, direction or strategy for their businesses.

“We are excited to complete our first accelerator cohort designed to help diverse-owned businesses thrive in Utah,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “These business leaders are part of a new landscape of entrepreneurs working to serve customers and build community in our state. We are here to support and sustain these business owners as they expand the map of products and services in our community and show others it is possible to achieve anything in Utah.”

Cohort attendees learned how to become more efficient, effective and successful in their business by establishing a business strategy roadmap and 90-day action plan, constructing a brand style guide, clarifying revenue streams and much more.

“The graduation of this cohort group marks a milestone for diverse-owned businesses served by the Women’s Business Center of Utah,” said Ann Marie Wallace, state director of the Women’s Business Center of Utah. “Through their commitment to and participation in this accelerator program, they have elevated their ownership skills and set a new example of what it means to really lean into learning, developing their businesses and supporting each other. We applaud these graduates for their commitment to building and growing their enterprises which enhance families and communities.” 

The Diverse-Owned Business Accelerator provided a peer-to-peer environment, mastermind groups for support and accountability, and weekly project assignments which are immediately implementable into their businesses.

“Bank of America’s work to advance economic opportunity for diverse-owned businesses includes a keen focus on entrepreneurship. We are supporting the creation, resiliency and growth of Small and Minority-Led businesses. As such, we are honored to have sponsored the Chamber’s inaugural program focused on helping diverse-owned businesses flourish and congratulate the recent graduates,” said Mori Paulsen, president of Bank of America for Utah. “Enabling individuals to achieve their goals and contribute to economic growth is a key way we help build a more sustainable future.”

Participants were selected on a range of criteria that included being an owner of a business with less than 50 employees and one that is earning consistent revenue.

  • Ryan Conner
  • Domeda Duncan, 613 Creative Agency
  • Hamaidu Fadika, Mogul Events
  • Mark Giles, whoizmark media LLC
  • Carlina Kirk, Kirk’s Welding
  • Linda Stone
  • Carlina Trevizo, Zarahi LLC 
  • Leatha Udayabhanu, Essentially Awake 
  • Andrea Zambrano, The Colombian Marketplace

The next cohort begins in October 2023. Applications will soon be available on the Salt Lake Chamber website.

This year’s founding partner is Bank of America. This program is in partnership with the Black Success Center, GK Folks Foundation, Native American Chamber, PIK2AR, Salt Lake American Refugee Services, Salt Lake Center of Opportunity Partnership (CO-OP), Utah Asian Chamber of Commerce, Utah Hispanic Chamber, Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber, and Utah Muslim Civic League.