The Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship Celebrates Black History Month with a Panel and Speech by NJ African American Chamber of Commerce President John Harmon | News

CHATHAM, NJ, February 10, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The Center for Women‘s Entrepreneurship celebrates Black History Month with a dynamic panel and exciting slate of programs. The panel will include a keynote presentation by John HarmonPresident of the African American Chamber of Commerce New Jersey and an in-depth discussion with black entrepreneurs who will share their unique experiences. As part of its ongoing efforts to meet the needs of BIPOC women and small business owners during Black History Month and throughout the year, the WCEC Women’s Business Center will be offering webinars and educational programs aimed at helping small businesses and solopreneurs hardest hit by the Covid crisis. In response to the national call for social and racial justice and in recognition of the longstanding contributions of communities of color, WCEC has made it part of its mission to support historically underserved minority-owned small businesses. The WCEC acts as a go-to resource to empower small business owners representing marginalized communities by providing critical resources including business advice, technical assistance and access to Covid relief and recovery funding.

According to a new Wells Fargo report, black-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by the Covid pandemic and have fallen by more than 40% in April 2020, but the number of black-owned businesses has rebounded rapidly at a rate 30% above pre-pandemic levels. The report cites that women of color have been driving the growth of new businesses. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, black women have led the surge in entrepreneurial gains by pivoting and joining workplace trends like the big quit, seeking alternatives to 9-to-5 jobs, the convenience of working remotely, better pay and more work/life balance.

WCEC Black History Month Roundtable To Be Held Thursday February 17 at 1 p.m. featuring black female entrepreneurs based in New Jersey and a video presentation by the keynote speaker John HarmonPresident and CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey. Small business owners will share their stories of how they pivoted during the pandemic, overcame obstacles, and navigated the often bumpy road to recovery. The panel will be moderated by Aliya LatifOwner PeaceBuild360 and include panelists: Ashley LoraGrini’s partner bakery, Bharati Carla HaynesOwner Garden of Healing Yoga & Wellness, and Cecile Edwards, Owner Mom Evolve. For more information and to register, go here.

WCEC will wrap up Black History Month with a webinar on Black History Month grants and loans. Thursday February 24 at 1:00 p.m. with guest speaker Phillip D. WoolfolkCOO, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey. Mr. Woolfolk will discuss the Equitable Small Business Initiative (ESBI) as well as other funding opportunities offered by the AACCNJ. This is an important webinar for BIPOC small business owners who often have limited access to capital and face the challenges of funding shortfalls when trying to start a business or grow. To register and attend the webinar, go here.

WCEC Executive Director, Rana Shanawani highlights the Black History Month panel and essential programs offered by WCEC as shining examples of what makes the organization stand out as a go-to resource for underrepresented small business owners. “We are delighted to host this roundtable and to work with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey to amplify the voice of BIPOC entrepreneurs whose stories are a true testament to the power of their entrepreneurial spirit and their crucial contribution to a thriving economy.”

About the Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship

The Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship (WCEC) is a 501c3 registered non-profit organization. As a Small Business Administration Resource Partner, Community Navigator and Women’s Business Center, WCEC’s mission is to help small businesses succeed. The WCEC Women’s Business Center works with women and minority-owned businesses from the start-up stage to existing small businesses looking to grow by providing educational resources, business advice, training professional assistance, technical assistance, and COVID-19 relief loans and grants. WCEC is a recipient of the SBA Resiliency and Recovery Demonstration Grant and winner of the Silver Stevie Award.

For more information on WCEC, visit

Media Contact

Lelani ClarkWomen’s Center for Entrepreneurship, 646-389-4129,

SOURCE Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship

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